27.09.2017
Ministru prezidents

M. Kučinskis: Latvia and the Netherlands have a similar view of the future of Europe

On Wednesday 27 September, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis met with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in The Hague. During the meeting, the parties discussed the co-operation between the two countries, current developments of the European Union (EU) and security policy.

M.Kučinskis noted that he highly appreciates the contribution of the Netherlands to strengthening security in the Baltic region - involvement in NATO's expanded presence in Lithuania, participation in the Baltic airspace patrolling, sending the experts to the NATO Force Integration Unit in Latvia, and involvement in NATO's Strategic Communication Excellence Centre.

He also pointed out that Russia’s recent military training "Zapad" cannot be seen in isolation from the general security situation and Russia's activities in our region since the events in Ukraine. It was stressed that the sense of public security in Latvia is strengthened by the awareness of the presence of NATO’s allied forces in the country and the whole region.

Both parties agreed on strengthening bilateral cooperation in order to better understand the position of the two countries on key issues in the EU context, in particular with regard to the EU multiannual budget for the next period. During the meeting, the officials highlighted the need to preserve the principle of free movement of people, to actively fight against fraud, and recognize the lack of workforce and the related challenges.

M.Kučinskis emphasized the need for Latvia to equalize the standard of living with economically developed EU countries, as well as the commitment to use existing EU instruments, including cohesion policy, to achieve this objective. Latvia also calls for seeking a balance and understanding of these needs. M. Kučinskis and M. Rutte agreed that experts from both countries should be consulted on these issues. The Heads of Government of both countries have a similar view of the future of the EU.

As regards the economic cooperation, the Prime Minister expressed interest in the Netherlands's experience in technology and knowledge transfer - how to develop similar solutions in Latvia by joint efforts of the government, local governments, universities and entrepreneurs. It was highlighted that the information and communication technology industry is the fastest growing sector in Latvia.

Drawing on innovative ideas, the Latvian companies have been able to create competitive niche products of world-class quality. The Latvian companies are already recognizable in the creative industries, design and construction sectors of the Netherlands with their innovative solutions and quality,” said M. Kučinskis.

The Prime Minister also informed Mark Rutte of Latvia's reforms in national economy, education and healthcare.

M. Kučinskis also extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands to visit Latvia.

The Netherlands is the eighth largest trading partner and the second largest investor of Latvia. The companies registered in the Netherlands have invested in transport and logistics, electricity, agriculture, metalworking, real estate and construction.

Latvia and the Netherlands enjoy a close and friendly relationship. This year marks 26 anniversary since the restoration of diplomatic relations between Latvia and the Netherlands. Latvia also appreciates the regular bilateral political dialogue with the Netherlands, as well as the dialogue between the Baltic and the Benelux countries in the "3 + 3" format.

Information prepared by:
Andrejs Vaivars
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
Mob.: 29228678
E-mail: Andrejs.Vaivars@mk.gov.lv

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