Policy makers debate in Riga
On 13 April 2015, the Riga-based think tank PROVIDUS organized a policy-makers debate with participants including members of the Latvian Parliament, representatives from state and local governments, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and European Economic and Social Committee, to discuss the New Pact for Europe proposal.
Participants disagreed that the main issues that the EU is facing today are fragmentation and loss of win-win situation. An ideological crisis was mentioned as a more crucial problem, as well as the loss of faith in European project.
In order to respond to these challenges, the EU should focus on restating its ideals, values and the general vision, which has somehow been lost. However, some participants expressed doubt on whether there is a need for a new political bargain – according to them, EU should rather move forward by addressing immediate problems (such as banking crisis, euro crisis, crisis in Ukraine) as opposed to attempts to create artificial catalysts for the integration.
This closed-door debate was followed by a public debate.
Participants of the policy-makers debate:
Lolita Čigāne - Chair of European Affairs Commitee of the Parliament of Latvia;
Aleksandrs Kiršteins - Member of European Affairs Commitee of the Parliament of Latvia (governing coalition);
Regina Locmele-Lunova - European Affairs Commitee of the Parliament of Latvia (principal opposition party);
Rihards Kols - Foreign Affairs Commitee of Latvian Parliament, parliamentary secretary to Ministry of Education (governing coalition);
Pēteris Krīgers - European Economic and Social Committee – Latvian delegation and Head of Latvian confederation of Trade Unions
Ariadna Ābeltiņa - European Economic and Social Committee – Latvian delegation; trade union representative;
Inga Bērziņa- Latvian representative to the EU’s Commitee of Regions;
Gundars Strautmanis - European Economic and Social Committee – Latvian delegation; representative of employers;
Ineta Tare – Ministry of Welfare, European Affairs Division.