In 2012, the Presidium of the Saeima decided to create the Parliamentary Dimension Planning Committee of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) to ensure successful drafting of the Presidency Parliamentary Strategy and to monitor the overall progress regarding Latvia’s preparation for the Presidency. The committee consists of representatives from all political parties elected to the 12th Saeima.
The committee is responsible for planning Presidency events held by the Parliament. Committee members also discussed the role of the national parliament during the preparatory period and the Presidency itself, as well as the need to discuss the priorities of the Latvian Presidency. The committee was also briefed on preparatory work accomplished for the Presidency.
In recognition of the fact that the Latvian Presidency will be a significant event for the whole nation and that the responsibility for it extends beyond the government’s competence, requiring the legislative and executive branch to collaborate, political parties represented in the 11th Saeima signed an agreement in December 2013 on preparing and implementing the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
In summer of 2012, a series of 10 sectoral discussions were held in order to identify the priorities of the Latvian Presidency. Current and former members of the Saeima and the European Parliament, experts, officials, NGOs, businessmen, as well as professors and researchers from various universities, attended these discussions. The discussion focusing on regional development took place in the Main Building of the Saeima.
The Saeima foreign policy debate of 24 January 2013 was also largely focused on the Presidency priorities. The foreign policy debate at the beginning of 2014 became a continuation of this discussion, for it was aimed at ensuring successful preparation for the trio presidency and work programme for the six-month period.
In April 2014, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius the speakers of the Latvian, Italian and Luxembourgian parliaments signed an agreement for closer cooperation during trio presidency of the Council of the EU.