Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area. [42], In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russia struggled for supremacy in the eastern Baltic. For a Humane Latvia Leader: Rolands Millers Orientation: Right-wing EP Affiliation: →EPP (intention to join EPP) EU Stance: Somewhat in favour of EU integration (Chapel Hill data) Until December 2020 known as Who Owns the State? [citation needed] They developed distinct cultural heritage, characterised by both Latvian and German influences. [195] 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). Winters have average temperatures of −6 °C (21 °F) and are characterized by stable snow cover, bright sunshine, and short days. The second most popular sport is basketball. His team works to counter disinformation in the EU and its neighbouring countries. 56 percent[84] of Latvia's territory is covered by forests, mostly Scots pine, birch, and Norway spruce. It has direct flight to over 80 destinations in 30 countries. Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Spring and autumn bring fairly mild weather. Municipal roads in Latvia totals 30 439 km of roads and 8039 km of streets. 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. Since joining the bloc, nearly a fifth of the nation has left to work in more … A History of Rome, M Cary and HH Scullard, p455-457, Macmillan Press. [98], Access to biocapacity in Latvia is much higher than world average. Latvia showed signs of economic recovery, and the electorate had steadily moved toward the centre during the parliamentary period. Lutheranism was more prominent before the Soviet occupation, when it was a majority religion of ~60% due to strong historical links with the Nordic countries and to the influence of the Hansa in particular and Germany in general. Meanwhile, largely isolated from the rest of Latvia, southern Latgallians adopted Catholicism under Polish/Jesuit influence. Other popular sports include football, floorball, tennis, volleyball, cycling, bobsleigh and skeleton. ", "Sabres' Girgensons expands lead as top vote-getter in 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM", "Pajon, Strombergs win Olympic BMX Finals", The Shadow in the East: Vladimir Putin and the New Baltic Front, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic 1944-1991, Sovereign states and dependencies of Europe, autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Latvia&oldid=1000769773, Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean, Members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Russian-speaking countries and territories, States and territories established in 1918, States and territories established in 1991, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles with Latvian-language sources (lv), Articles with dead external links from August 2019, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Latvian-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2009, Articles needing additional references from March 2015, All articles needing additional references, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2014, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2011, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2007, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1922 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Officially the Republic of China, participates as ", This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 16:54. [59] TALLINN - Compared with the national threshold, the share of signatories in Latvia to a petition to establish unconditional basic income in the European Union had exceeded the corresponding share in Estonia by Tuesday afternoon, rising to third place in the EU. After the German surrender, it became clear that Soviet forces were there to stay, and Latvian national partisans, soon joined by some who had collaborated with the Germans, began to fight against the new occupier. Latvia has established diplomatic relations with 158 countries. The images may be used free of charge only for the purpose of promoting Latvia to foreign media. Virtually all of the previously state-owned small and medium companies have been privatised, leaving only a small number of politically sensitive large state companies. Latvia. A referendum on European Union membership was held in Latvia on 20 September 2003. [188] According to the Central Election Commission, 74.8% voted against, 24.9% voted for and the voter turnout was 71.1%. Riga's boulevards and some streets outside the Old Town date from this period. [205], Between the 13th and 19th centuries, Baltic Germans, many of whom were originally of non-German ancestry but had been assimilated into German culture, formed the upper class. 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. BK Ventspils, which participates in EuroChallenge, is the second strongest basketball club in Latvia, previously winning LBL eight times and BBL in 2013. The government remains subject to Parliament's approval throughout each term. As of 2014[update] there were 109 schools for minorities that use Russian as the language of instruction (27% of all students) for 40% of subjects (the remaining 60% of subjects are taught in Latvian). The country has a temperate seasonal climate. 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. RIGA - Latvia has the highest crime rate in the EU and the second highest in Europe, according to a recent report. [86], Latvia has a temperate climate that has been described in various sources as either humid continental (Köppen Dfb) or oceanic/maritime (Köppen Cfb). In 1897, 61.2% of the rural population had been landless; by 1936, that percentage had been reduced to 18%. Its national insect is the two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata, Latvian: divpunktu mārīte). The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats. In October 1999, Latvia received a favourable evaluation in the Commission's Annual Review of Accession Preparations. 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. [210], 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. At the start of 2005, the lats was pegged to the euro at Ls … Major rivers include the Daugava River, Lielupe, Gauja, Venta, and Salaca, the largest spawning ground for salmon in the eastern Baltic states. and Sovieticised. The Finance Ministry said that the European Commission this year announced several amendments to the bloc's budget which changed the annual amount of Latvia's contribution. Latvia plans to base the development of its scientific potential on existing scientific traditions, particularly in organic chemistry, medical chemistry, genetic engineering, physics, materials science and information technologies. After centuries of German, Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away from the German empire and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. The 100-seat unicameral Latvian parliament, the Saeima, is elected by direct popular vote every four years. The Soviets immediately began to reinstate the Soviet system. 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. [citation needed] With the onset of World War II, many Latvian artists and other members of the cultural elite fled the country yet continued to produce their work, largely for a Latvian émigré audience. [157] 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. [202][203][204], Traditional Latvian folklore, especially the dance of the folk songs, dates back well over a thousand years. The length of Latvia's Baltic coastline is 494 km (307 mi). [citation needed] To maintain and expand industrial production, skilled workers were migrating from all over the Soviet Union, decreasing the proportion of ethnic Latvians in the republic. During the transitional period, Moscow maintained many central Soviet state authorities in Latvia. [citation needed] The Popular Front of Latvia advocated that all permanent residents be eligible for Latvian citizenship, helping to sway many ethnic Russians to vote for independence. In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. [213] Rupjmaize is a dark bread made from rye, considered the national staple.[214][215]. [87], Latvia has four pronounced seasons of near-equal length. The president is elected by the Saeima in a separate election, also held every four years. '[75], In the second half of the 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started to introduce political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union that were called glasnost and perestroika. Demands for self-determination were initially confined to autonomy, until a power vacuum was created by the Russian Revolution in 1917, followed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany in March 1918, then the Allied armistice with Germany on 11 November 1918. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. [2] As of 2004 there were more than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi (The Godskeepers), whose religion is based on Latvian mythology. It recommended that Latvia not be included in the first group of countries with whom accession negotiations be opened. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora. 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. [93] There are 706 specially state-level protected natural areas in Latvia: four national parks, one biosphere reserve, 42 nature parks, nine areas of protected landscapes, 260 nature reserves, four strict nature reserves, 355 nature monuments, seven protected marine areas and 24 microreserves. [56]:127 Another 30,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto were killed in the Rumbula Forest in November and December 1941, to reduce overpopulation in the ghetto and make room for more Jews being brought in from Germany and the West. [56]:64[56]:56, Under German occupation, Latvia was administered as part of Reichskommissariat Ostland. [55] In the north, Latvia, Finland and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. Latvia (/ˈlɑːtviə/ or /ˈlætviə/ (listen); Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]), officially known as the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Latvia Jānis Rungulis is an EU’s strategic communications expert. [citation needed] On 15 May 1934, Ulmanis staged a bloodless coup, establishing a nationalist dictatorship that lasted until 1940. [citation needed], Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. There are 37 foreign embassies and 11 international organisations in Latvia's capital Riga. The most important sectors of Latvia’s economy in 2018 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (25.4%), industry (16.1%) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (15.8%). The adoption process began 1 May 2004, when Latvia joined the European Union, entering the EU's Economic and Monetary Union. [41] Though the duchy was a vassal state to Poland, it retained a considerable degree of autonomy and experienced a golden age in the 16th century. Photo Gallery Latvia is a high-resolution image service featuring images of Latvia. They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities. Latvia is the third poorest country in the European Union 02.07.2019. In Boxing, Mairis Briedis is the first Latvian to win a boxing world title, having held the WBC cruiserweight title from 2017 to 2018, and the WBO cruiserweight title in 2019. On 20 September 2003, Latvians held an election to vote on joining. According to statistics in late 2013, 45% of the population supported the introduction of the euro, while 52% opposed it. Still, today there are 290,660 non-citizens in Latvia, which represent 14.1% of the population. Another notable language of Latvia is the nearly extinct Livonian language of the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family, which enjoys protection by law; Latgalian – as a dialect of Latvian is also protected by Latvian law but as a historical variation of the Latvian language. On occasions, especially in 1944, opposing Latvian troops faced each other in battle.[56]:299. Latvia is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy [27][28] and ranks 39th in the Human Development Index. [58] The racially approved being resettled mainly in Poland, being given land and businesses in exchange for the money they had received from the sale of their previous assets.[56]:46. Capital city Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. [52], By 1923, the extent of cultivated land surpassed the pre-war level. [37] 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). The General representative of Germany August Winnig formally handed over political power to the Latvian Provisional Government on 26 November. [citation needed], Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. 2. 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). [44][45], Several important cultural changes occurred during this time. [208], After incorporation into the Soviet Union, Latvian artists and writers were forced to follow the socialist realism style of art. [121] 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. From the age of 40 – more female. In formal divisions, Riga region, which includes the capital and parts of other regions that have a strong relationship with the capital, is also often included in regional divisions; e.g., there are five planning regions of Latvia (Latvian: plānošanas reģioni), which were created in 2009 to promote balanced development of all regions. 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