Events organised by national parliaments during their presidencies are an important forum where discussions on topical European Union (EU) sectoral policy issues are held in line with presidency priorities and where understanding of the efficient implementation of the principle of subsidiarity is reinforced. The principle of subsidiarity aims to determine whether the goals of EU legislation can be reached on a lower – member state – level.
One of the tasks of national parliaments is assessing new legislation of the European Commission, determining whether specific legislative acts should be passed on for further processing.
During its Presidency, the Parliament of Latvia will hold 6 inter-parliamentary meetings, bringing together representatives of national parliaments from all EU member states. Along with the events taking place before and during the Presidency, the Parliament will organise a number of bilateral visits, welcoming representatives of other member states and the European Parliament. Similarly, exchange visits will be organised in order to hear the position of the European Parliament and other member states regarding sectoral issues which are on the agenda of the Presidency.
The Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force on 1 December 2009, increases the role of national parliaments in EU decision-making. Within the framework of the Presidency, the work of the government concerning preparation of the presidency programme for 6 months and the programme of the presidency trio for 18 months is subject to scrutiny by national parliaments. More information about the work of the Saeima after the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon is available here.
Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU
Latvia will assume the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2015 – from 1 January to 30 June. The presidency gives an opportunity for each EU member state, regardless of its size or time of accession to the EU, to influence the agenda and to carry out the work of the EU. The task of the presidency is to ensure fair and neutral mediation during negotiations.
Latvia's partners in the presidency trio are Italy and Luxembourg. All three countries are collaborating closely during their presidencies, and they have jointly drafted the 18-month programme of the Council of the EU .