Declaration on the Intended Activities of the Cabinet of Ministers
8 March 2004
In the new international context, Latvia must enhance the capacity of its foreign service to implement a foreign policy that serves Latvia's national interests.
1. We will upgrade the knowledge and practical skills of employees in Latvia's foreign affairs sector.
2. We will broaden the network of Latvia's diplomatic missions.
3. We will ask Latvia's embassies abroad to focus more on planning and performance of their work.
4. We will elaborate the necessary conceptual documents to increase the efficiency of the Latvian foreign policy, namely: Latvian foreign policy guidelines; documents specifying the tasks of the foreign service once Latvia becomes involved in the Euro-Atlantic cooperation; Latvia's strategy as a member of the European Union. These documents will improve planning and coordination of a foreign policy that is in line with Latvia's national interests.
5. We will improve Latvia's capability to perform analytical research on key foreign policy issues that are related to its national interests. We will pursue a direct dialogue between the Foreign Service and Latvian and foreign research bodies.
6. We will resume regular debates in the Saeima on foreign policy issues.
7. We will place the Latvian Institute under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will significantly increase its funding. We will develop and implement an effective programme on building Latvia's image by employing the services of recognised professionals in the marketing and advertising sector. In order to popularise Latvia's image, we will involve our diplomatic missions more actively.
We will implement Latvia's national interests in the European Union
8. We will concentrate on what is currently Latvia's most important task in the European Union - to acquire in the shortest time possible the skill to exploit the opportunities offered by the EU.
9. We will support an effective European Union that is able to agree on a common position on foreign affairs and security policy issues and is thus able to involve actively in global political processes.
10. We will support further development of the European Union that is based on solidarity and equality among countries.
11. We will involve actively in shaping and implementing future EU policies and initiatives. At the same time, we will insist that the EU's main function is to ensure welfare of the citizens of its member states; thus, we will encourage the EU to intensify its efforts to enhance its economic competitiveness.
12. We will strive to ensure that Latvia is on equal footing with other member states in receiving and utilizing the funding offered through EU Structural Funds, Cohesion Fund and the Common Agricultural Policy.
13. We will strengthen the safety of Latvia's energy resources upon our integration into the European Union.
14. We will implement active bilateral policies with other EU member states.
15. We will actively promote the increased role of the enlarged EU in the new neighbouring states. We will pay special attention to relations between the EU and the countries of Eastern Europe - Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in the Caucasus region. We will promote the integration of these countries into the EU economic and political space.
16. We will involve actively in forming the EU-Russia partnership. We will support the need for a close EU-US dialogue in this matter in order to promote an EU-Russia partnership that is based on common interests and a balance of values.
We will make the necessary adjustments in order to utilize the external economic dimension more effectively in realizing our national interests.
17. We will apply the experience we have gained from external economic cooperation and from the opportunities offered by the EU internal market in order to promote a favourable business environment, create effective and competitive economic structures in Latvia, and reduce socio-economic gaps and risks existing in the Latvian society.
18. We will improve investigation of Latvia's export opportunities in traditional and non-traditional export markets.
19. We will develop Latvia's strategy for assisting our partner countries.
20. We will take the necessary measures for participation in the OECD.
21. We will take advantage of our status as an EU member state and promote economic relations with Russia and other CIS countries.
22. We will support Russia's accession to the WTO.
23. We will promote improvements in the business environment of the EU's neighbouring countries that are important for Latvia's economic interests.
24. We will expand and strengthen Latvia's network of economic representatives abroad.
We will strengthen national security by actively participating in NATO and the EU and by intensifying bilateral cooperation with the United States.
25. We will take advantage of our NATO membership in order to increase the security and defendability of Latvia's people and country against new kinds of threats such as international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
26. At the same time, we will not ignore old threats to national security. Membership in NATO will significantly diminish these threats.
27. We will actively strengthen NATO as the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security. It is in Latvia's interests to promote the effectiveness, unity and capacity of the Alliance.
28. We will support an increased role of NATO in ensuring security and stability in regions and countries that are vital to the Alliance's interests.
29. We will support Latvia's participation in peacekeeping missions sanctioned by NATO, the EU or the UN. Active cooperation with our allies will strengthen Latvia's security.
30. We will support and become involved in formulating the EU Security and Defence Policy (ESDP); however, we will maintain that it is not an alternative to NATO. We will help to develop the action plan for Europe's security strategy.
31. We will strengthen bilateral cooperation with the United States on security matters.
We will enhance the Baltic cooperation by re-arranging it according to the new strategic situation in Europe.
32. We will assess and use the opportunities to develop cooperation in the Baltic Sea region in the context of EU and NATO enlargement.
33. We will promote greater cooperation with the countries of Northern Europe and pay special attention to cooperation among the Baltic States, cooperation among Baltic/Nordic EU member states according to the 3+3 format, and cooperation among Nordic and Baltic countries.
34. We will examine the conceptual and practical opportunities for closer cooperation of the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers with the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
35. We will foster a dialogue between the countries of the Baltic Sea region concerning the possible involvement of regional cooperation structures in the EU Neighbourhood Policy.
36. Under the E-PINE initiative, we will support the development of cooperation between the 8 Baltic/Nordic countries and the United States.
37. We will actively support increasing navigation security on the Baltic Sea.
38. We maintain that EU and NATO enlargement should not create obstacles to realizing the idea of a united and undivided Europe in the Baltic Sea region.
We will support the desire of Latvians living abroad to establish closer ties with Latvia's cultural, political and economic environment.
39. We will try to ensure that Latvian communities abroad are able to maintain close ties with Latvia. We will pay more attention to the long-term programme Latvian Diaspora. We will use various means to support the education of Latvians living abroad who wish to study in Latvian schools abroad or in Latvia.
40. We will develop our capacity to ensure the legal protection of Latvia's citizens and permanent residents abroad.