European Union





Geographical size: 

64 573 km2


1 968 957 (2016)

Population as % of total EU: 

0.4 % (2016)

Gross domestic product (GDP): 

€ 25.021 billion (2016)

Official EU language(s): 


Political system: 

parliamentary republic

Seats in the European Parliament: 



Euro. Member of the eurozone since 1 January 2014

Schengen area member: 

Yes, Schengen Area member since 21 December 2007.

EU member country since: 

1 May 2004

Presidency of the Council: 

The following link is a redirection to an external websitecurrent presidency of the Council of the EU - Dates of Latvian presidencies

With a coastline of 531km along the Baltic Sea, Latvia is bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Woodlands cover over 40 % of this low-lying country. Latvia also counts more than 3 000 lakes and 12 000 rivers.

The most important sectors of Latvia’s economy in 2015 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (25.2 %), industry (16.4 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (15.7 %).

Latvia’s main export partners are Lithuania, Russia and Estonia, while its main import partners are Lithuania, Germany and Poland.

Latvia in the EU

European Parliament

There are 8 members of the European Parliament from Latvia. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Latvia

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Latvian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Latvian presidencies:

Jan-Jun 2015

Presidency of the Council of the EU.

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Latvia to the European Commission is Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Commission representation in Latvia

European Economic & Social Committee

Latvia has 7 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

European Committee of the Regions

Latvia has 7 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Latvia also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Latvia's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Latvia contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of Latvia’s finances with the EU in 2015:

  • Total EU spending in Latvia – € 0.982 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Latvian gross national income (GNI) – 4.04 %
  • Total Latvian contribution to the EU budget – € 0.206 billion
  • Latvian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI – 0.85 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Latvia

The money paid into the EU budget by Latvia helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Latvia benefits from EU funding.

Practical information

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