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Latvia - Justice and Home Affairs

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Short-term priorities:

  • further efforts to implement measures to combat corruption and organised crime;
  • continuing judicial reform.

Assessment (October 1999)

These priorities have been achieved in part.

In the fight against corruption, the entry into force of the new criminal code represents a major step forward. Progress has also been made with regard to the relevant institutional structures. However, corruption remains a serious problem and much still needs to be done in this area. As regards judicial reform, the status of judges and the functioning of the court system have been improved. But a number of issues still have to be addressed, such as legislation on court bailiffs, court infrastructure and length of prison sentences.

Assessment (November 2000)

Several steps have been taken to improve border controls. Agreements have been concluded to improve information flows between the institutions involved. The judiciary still has a backlog of court cases. A system of airport transit visas has been introduced. Procedures for obtaining residence permits HAS BEEN simplified. Work has started on creating a database for registering asylum-seekers. Corruption continues to pose serious problems.

Assessment (November 2001)

With regard to border controls, Latvia has continued work on infrastructures at border posts and provided more efficient facilities. The central administrative structures have been modified in order to combat computer crime and the trafficking of human beings more effectively. The asylum and immigration policies have been more or less aligned with the European Union's (EU) acquis. Additional efforts are required to ensure the independence of the judiciary, training for judges and respect for procedural deadlines.

Assessment (October 2002)

Legislative progress has been made with regard to law enforcement bodies and the judiciary. Cooperation between the competent authorities, in particular, the police and the authorities which combat money laundering, has been stepped up. Little progress was made in the judicial area and results are poor.

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Medium-term priorities:

  • to develop an efficient system of border controls (especially on the eastern border);
  • to implement migration policy and new legislation on asylum and the rights of refugees;
  • to continue combating organised crime and corruption with a view to applying the Schengen Agreement;
  • to align visa policy on that of the EU.

Assessment (October 1999)

The new visa legislation adopted in April 1999 represents a significant step towards fulfilling EU standards. No progress has been made in the other areas.

Assessment (November 2000)

No progress has been made in this area.

Assessment (November 2001)

Latvia has made some progress in relation to the policy on visas and police cooperation. During 2001, it has adopted two action plans with a view to implementing the Schengen acquis. Furthermore, progress has been made in combating corruption. Nonetheless, the Commission calls on Latvia to continue its efforts in order to achieve concrete results on a large scale.

Assessment (October 2002)

Alignment with the acquis relating to visas and the right to asylum has continued but not with regard to migration. In accordance with the action plan, the competent authorities have again been strengthened.

Controls at the external borders have been tightened as a result of the implementation of the policy document on State Border Guard Development (2001-2005), increased investments in order to develop the infrastructure at the eastern border, the installation of information systems (REIS, UVIS) as well as training measures. The establishment of an integrated maritime surveillance system has advanced through the establishment of maritime units within the State Border Guards.

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Following the signing of the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004.

REFERENCES

Decision 98/263/EC of 30.03.1998
Official Journal L 121, 23.04.1998

Decision 1999/854/EC of 06.12.1999
Official Journal L 335, 28.12.1999

Commission Opinion COM(97) 2004 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(98) 703 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(1999) 506 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM (2000) 706 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1749
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC (2002) 1405
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1203
Not published in the Official Journal

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236, 23.09.2003]

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 19.11.2004
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