In the recent years a couple of dozen of wind farms as well as biogas or biomass power stations of different scale have been built in Latvia. The United Kingdom remains a major partner to Latvia and the EU; therefore, in the future, we would like to have as close as possible cooperation in safeguarding people’s interests, in security, defence, foreign affairs, trade, education and other matters. Latvia was the last of the states which would join the EU in 2004 to hold a referendum on the issue. Latvia has a long and successful tradition of extra-curricular education, called interest-related or hobby education. Official EU language(s): Bulgarian; EU member country: since 1 January 2007; Currency: Bulgarian lev BGN. Latvia has 7 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The unemployment rate has receded from its peak of more than 20 percent in 2010 to around 9.3 percent in 2014. , Anywhere from 120,000 to as many as 300,000 Latvians took refuge from the Soviet army by fleeing to Germany and Sweden.  An influx of new colonists, including laborers, administrators, military personnel and their dependents from Russia and other Soviet republics started. All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right.  Its capital and largest city is Riga; other notable major cities in Latvia are Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jelgava, Valmiera, Ventspils and Jūrmala.  Kenneth Orchard, senior analyst at Moody's Investors Service argued that: The strengthening regional economy is supporting Latvian production and exports, while the sharp swing in the current account balance suggests that the country's 'internal devaluation' is working. The citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members who are now residing in the Republic of Latvia or will enter the Republic of Latvia before 31 December 2020 and who will wish to continue residing in the Republic of Latvia must submit, before 30 June 2021, an application to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) and obtain a new residence permit.  However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis. Oak (Quercus robur, Latvian: ozols), and linden (Tilia cordata, Latvian: liepa) are Latvia's national trees and the daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare, Latvian: pīpene) its national flower. Latvia has established diplomatic relations with 158 countries. In late 2018 the National Archives of Latvia released a full alphabetical index of some 10,000 people recruited as agents or informants by the Soviet KGB. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion.  Since Latvia's independence in 1918, it has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. Latvia has hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore—lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches. The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation". , Latvia's unemployment rate rose sharply in this period from a low of 5.4% in November 2007 to over 22%. The Soviets dealt harshly with their opponents – prior to Operation Barbarossa, in less than a year, at least 34,250 Latvians were deported or killed. The longest river flowing through Latvian territory is the Daugava, which has a total length of 1,005 km (624 mi), of which 352 km (219 mi) is on Latvian territory.  The most senior civil servants are the thirteen Secretaries of State. In 2011, there were 416 religious Jews, 319 Muslims and 102 Hindus. *From within the EU: Entry Restrictions- Citizens from EU Member States plus Schengen associated countries, as well as people with permanent residence status in those countries, when travelling from their home countries to Latvia no longer face 10 days self-isolation period, if 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 inhabitants does not exceed the threshold rate in Latvia. "Lettonia" redirects here. The government remains subject to Parliament's approval throughout each term. Latvia is a member of the European Union (EU). Real GDP growth of 5.5 percent in 2011 was underpinned by export growth and a recovery in domestic demand. (KPV LV).  The Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe or e-Pine is the U.S. Department of State diplomatic framework for co-operation with the Nordic-Baltic countries. Summer starts in June and lasts until August. As a consequence, the majority of ethnic non-Latvians did not receive Latvian citizenship since neither they nor their parents had ever been citizens of Latvia, becoming non-citizens or citizens of other former Soviet republics. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. In the 23rd block of the Vorverker cemetery, a monument was erected after the Second World War for the people of Latvia, who had died in Lübeck from 1945 to 1950. 2. , Starting in 2019 Latvia hosts the inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival, a new festival in which world-famous orchestras and conductors perform across four weekends during the summer. , Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. Latvia replaced its previous currency, the lats, with the euro on 1 January 2014, after a European Union assessment in June 2013 asserted that the country had met all convergence criteria necessary for euro adoption. The Young Latvian (Latvian: Jaunlatvieši) movement laid the groundwork for nationalism from the middle of the century, many of its leaders looking to the Slavophiles for support against the prevailing German-dominated social order. , Since the early 1990s, Latvia has been involved in active trilateral Baltic states co-operation with its neighbours Estonia and Lithuania, and Nordic-Baltic co-operation with the Nordic countries. RIGA - Latvia has the highest crime rate in the EU and the second highest in Europe, according to a recent report. , However, the central power in Moscow continued to regard Latvia as a Soviet republic in 1990 and 1991. A History of Rome, M Cary and HH Scullard, p455-457, Macmillan Press. Winters have average temperatures of −6 °C (21 °F) and are characterized by stable snow cover, bright sunshine, and short days. Rating agency Standard & Poor's raised its outlook on Latvia's debt from negative to stable. In 2010 Latvia launched a Residence by Investment program (Golden Visa) in order to attract foreign investors and make local economy benefit from it. During the transitional period, Moscow maintained many central Soviet state authorities in Latvia. According to the WWF, the territory of Latvia belongs to the ecoregion of Sarmatic mixed forests. , At the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of what is currently Latvia. Fish is commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the Baltic Sea. The WHO Country Office Latvia was established in 1991 in Riga to serve as a direct link between the Government of Latvia and WHO. More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending: 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.  An extensive program to impose bilingualism was initiated in Latvia, limiting the use of Latvian language in official uses in favor of using Russian as the main language. Latvia has acceded to most relevant human rights instruments and is party to both the 1954 and 1961 statelessness conventions. Latvia Highlights .  Following the introduction of the Euro, Eurobarometer surveys in January 2014 showed support for the Euro to be around 53%, close to the European average. Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area. However, by 2010, commentators noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. , In 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a resolution on the Occupation of the Baltic states, in which it declared the occupation "not in accordance with law", and not the "will of the Soviet people". In 2015 Latvia held the presidency of Council of the European Union. , The Saeima, Latvia's parliament, was again elected in 1993.  A week later, on 1 September 1939, Germany and on 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Poland.  Latvia's current account, which had been in deficit by 27% in late 2006 was in surplus in February 2010. ECDC will publish updates on the number of cases and deaths reported worldwide and aggregated by week every Thursday.  The southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia (Ducatus Livoniae Ultradunensis). Latvian armed forces have contributed to NATO and EU military operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1996–2009), Albania (1999), Kosovo (2000–2009), Macedonia (2003), Iraq (2005–2006), Afghanistan (since 2003), Somalia (since 2011) and Mali (since 2013). Posters show the influence of other European cultures, for example, works of artists such as the Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert and the French Raoul Dufy. State administrators were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres. The terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland". Under this division Riga region includes large parts of what traditionally is considered Vidzeme, Courland, and Zemgale. Rural areas were forced into collectivization. , Approximately 206,000 non-citizens – including stateless persons – have limited access to some political rights – only citizens are allowed to participate in parliamentary or municipal elections, although there are no limitations in regards to joining political parties or other political organizations. , In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were lands with their rulers: Vanema, Ventava, Bandava, Piemare, Duvzare, Upmale, Sēlija, Koknese, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele. Until the age of 39, there are more male than female. , More than 56% of leading positions are held by women in Latvia, which ranks 1st in Europe; Latvia ranks 1st in the world in women's rights sharing the position with five other European countries according to World Bank. RESIDENT POPULATION ON MARCH 1, 2011 BY ETHNICITY, SEX AND AGE GROUP", "THNICITIES OF RESIDENT POPULATION IN STATISTICAL REGIONS, CITIES UNDER STATE JURISDICTION AND COUNTIES BY LANGUAGE MOSTLY SPOKEN AT HOME; ON 1 MARCH 2011", "Referendum on the Draft Law 'Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, "Results of the referendum on the Draft Law 'Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, "Latvia pushes majority language in schools, leaving parents miffed", "Moscow threatens sanctions against Latvia over removal of Russian from secondary schools", "Government okays transition to Latvian as sole language at schools in 2019", "Statistics of approved parishes in Latvia", "Latvia's Healthcare System is Funded by General Taxation and All Latvians and Foreign Residents Are Guaranteed Medical Care | Find Articles at BNET", "Latvia has worst health care system in Europe :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics", "Latvian Health Official Resigns Over Cuts", "The basic indicators of health care, at the end of the year", "The Baltic States and their health systems – From Soviet to EU", http://www.imc-cim.org/programmes/imc_diversity_report.pdf, "Typical Latvian Food and Drink Recipes.  In 2017 there were 1 054 433 female and 895 683 male living in Latvian territory. , Latvian policy in science and technology has set out the long-term goal of transitioning from labor-consuming economy to knowledge-based economy. The secretariat of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) will be located in Riga. The national tournament is the Latvian Hockey Higher League, held since 1931. In January 1991, Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic of Latvia authorities by occupying the central publishing house in Riga and establishing a Committee of National Salvation to usurp governmental functions. However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted. For Latvian student corporation, see, Country on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Reformation period and Polish–Lithuanian rule, Livonia & Courland in the Russian Empire (1795–1917), Economic contraction and recovery (2008–12). You'll have to pay a fine when you enter or leave Latvia if you: don't declare this money; give incorrect information , After incorporation into the Soviet Union, Latvian artists and writers were forced to follow the socialist realism style of art. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. He works within the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s diplomatic service, which makes sure the voice of the European Union is heard in the world. From 1 January 2007, Latvia switched to a professional fully contract-based army. . As a result, Latvia is running a biocapacity reserve. Latvia has 7 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. (On March 27, 2007 the Border Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Latvia recognizes Abrene (now Pytalovo) as a ceded territory, thus opening the opportunity for Latvia to proceed with the official demarkation of the border which is a pre-requisite to Latvia’s joining the Schengen zone of the European Union.) The prices of real estate, which were at some points growing by approximately 5% a month, were long perceived to be too high for the economy, which mainly produces low-value goods and raw materials. Latvia. , In spite of this, 73% of all Latvian residents confirmed their strong support for independence on 3 March 1991, in a non-binding advisory referendum. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. 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. The Commissioner nominated by Latvia to the European Commission is Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People. It has survived in German Baltic families to this day, in spite of their dispersal to Germany, the United States, Canada and other countries in the early 20th century.  Thus, the mostly peasant local pagan heritage was preserved, partly merging with Christian traditions. Latvia is a parliamentary republic with a head of government - the prime minister - who chooses the council of ministers and a head of state - the president - who has a largely ceremonial role and nominates the prime minister. By 1959 about 400,000 Russian settlers arrived and the ethnic Latvian population had fallen to 62%.. The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946). Ice hockey is usually considered the most popular sport in Latvia. In terms of imports, 75% come from EU Member States (Lithuania 17%, Germany 11% and Poland 9%), while outside the EU 8% come from Russia and 4% from Canada. The war of independence that followed was part of a general chaotic period of civil and new border wars in Eastern Europe. More-detailed discussion in Daina Stukuls Eglitis, "Baltic Thaw, Aegean freeze", The Economist, 27 February 2010, p59, Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe, Learn how and when to remove this template message, German occupation of Latvia during World War II, Latvian anti-Nazi resistance movement 1941–45, Occupation of Latvia by Soviet Union 1944–1945, On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, historical and cultural regions in Latvia, Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Inčukalns underground gas storage facility, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, "Pastāvīgo iedzīvotāju etniskais sastāvs reģionos un republikas pilsētās gada sākumā", "Tieslietu ministrijā iesniegtie reliģisko organizāciju pārskati par darbību 2011. gadā", Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "Population number, its changes and density | Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia", "Population Census 2011 – Key Indicators", "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey", "The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, Chapter 1 (Article 4)", "Official Language Law, Section 3 (Article 1)", "Official Language Law, Sections 4, 5 and 18 (Article 4)", "Official Language Law, Section 3 (Articles 3 and 4)", "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings", "Northern Europe - EU Vocabularies - Publications Office of the EU", "UN classifies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as Northern Europe - Jan. 09, 2017", "UPHEAVAL IN THE EAST; Soviet Congress Condemns '39 Pact That Led to Annexation of Baltics", "Etniskais sastāvs un mazākumtautību kultūras identitātes veicināšana", "IRG110.  It is among the lowest-ranked healthcare systems in Europe, due to excessive waiting times for treatment, insufficient access to the latest medicines, and other factors. English is also widely accepted in Latvia in business and tourism. Its capital is Riga and the official language is Latvian. Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units established by the occupation authority participated in the Holocaust and other atrocities. Russification began in Latgale after the Polish led the January Uprising in 1863: this spread to the rest of what is now Latvia by the 1880s. Latvia has had many famous hockey stars like Helmuts Balderis, Artūrs Irbe, Kārlis Skrastiņš and Sandis Ozoliņš and more recently Zemgus Girgensons, whom the Latvian people have strongly supported in international and NHL play, expressed through the dedication of using the NHL's All Star Voting to bring Zemgus to number one in voting. Latvians comprise 0.4% of the total EU population. Latvia is a member country of the EU since May 1, 2004 with its geographic size of 64,573 km², and population number 1,986,096, as per 2015. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. Both nowadays cover a variety of different fields.  The greatest number of patents, both nationwide and abroad, are in medical chemistry. There are 8 members of the European Parliament from Latvia. It has direct flight to over 80 destinations in 30 countries. Latvia lies in Northern Europe, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea and northwestern part of the East European Craton (EEC), between latitudes 55° and 58° N (a small area is north of 58°), and longitudes 21° and 29° E (a small area is west of 21°).  This operation had the desired effect of reducing the anti Soviet partisan activity.  In practice, however, the emancipation was actually advantageous to the landowners and nobility, as it dispossessed peasants of their land without compensation, forcing them to return to work at the estates "of their own free will". The country has very few natural resources and imports all of its natural gas and oil, as well as half of its electricity needs. Transit between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan as well as other Asian countries and the West is large. , Most of the country is composed of fertile lowland plains and moderate hills. Latvia has ratified the international Washington, Bern, and Ramsare conventions.  A class of independent farmers established itself after reforms allowed the peasants to repurchase their land, but many landless peasants remained.  Riga became an important point of east–west trading and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. , Numeracy was also higher in the Livonian and Courlandian parts of the Russian Empire, which may have been influenced by the Protestant religion of the inhabitants.  Nordic-Baltic Six (NB-6), comprising Nordic-Baltic countries that are European Union member states, is a framework for meetings on EU-related issues.  Latvian soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict, mainly on the German side, with 140,000 men in the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS, The 308th Latvian Rifle Division was formed by the Red Army in 1944. However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. Although the stateless population has not been mapped, the Latvian authorities count and publish population data on statelessness, with a ‘stateless’ (bezvalstnieks) category in national statistics.  Fighting continued sporadically between Sweden and Poland until the Truce of Altmark in 1629. And from 70 females are 2,3 times more than males.  The first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. Eager to join Western economic institutions like the World Trade Organization, OECD, and the European Union, Latvia signed a Europe Agreement with the EU in 1995—with a 4-year transition period. There are 37 foreign embassies and 11 international organisations in Latvia's capital Riga.  Together with southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. Book your tour today. Every year more boys are born. The country is subdivided into 110 one-level municipalities and 9 cities. , Since March 2004, when the Baltic states joined NATO, fighter jets of NATO members have been deployed on a rotational basis for the Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Airport in Lithuania to guard the Baltic airspace. 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. In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. The private sector accounted for nearly 68% of the country's GDP in 2000. In a report titled "Europe's Crime Capitals," Forbes business magazine claimed that only Turkey has a higher crime rate than the Baltic state.  Latvia's Red Book (Endangered Species List of Latvia), which was established in 1977, contains 112 plant species and 119 animal species. In a typical Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates with fields, farmsteads, and pastures. :326 Between 136,000 and 190,000 Latvians, depending on the sources, were imprisoned or deported to Soviet concentration camps (the Gulag) in the post war years, from 1945 to 1952.  Other important universities, which were established on the base of State University of Latvia, include the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (established in 1939 on the basis of the Faculty of Agriculture) and Riga Stradiņš University (established in 1950 on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine). 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. Approximately 200 farms, occupying 2,750 ha (6,800 acres), are engaged in ecologically pure farming (using no artificial fertilizers or pesticides). 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