On 3 May 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, during his working visit to Paris, France, met with the Minister of State for European Affairs of France, Amélie de Montchalin. The Ministers discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries, the issues of current importance for the EU and in the security sector, and cooperation in international organisations, including the upcoming French Presidency of the Council of Europe.
At the beginning of the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs pledged Latvia’s solidarity in relation to the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. The minister confirmed that Latvia was prepared to offer assistance and engage experts that would be needed for the restoration works in the cathedral.
The Latvian Foreign Minister praised the excellent relations between Latvia and France and expressed hope to welcome the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the Minister of State for European Affairs, Amélie de Montchalin, to Latvia.
The officials shared views on topics concerning the EU and Brexit, the upcoming European Parliament elections, the EU Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021–2027, including the issue of the rule of law.
The Minister expressed the opinion that Latvia wished to see an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and to build a close future relationship after the withdrawal. At the same time, unity among the 27 EU Member States is equally important, as well as being prepared for all Brexit scenarios.
Edgars Rinkēvičs also reiterated that the current proposal for the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021–2027 was not fair. Latvia cannot agree to reductions under the Cohesion Policy and will continue advocating the convergence of direct payments and an increased funding for rural development. In this contex, the development of the EU Single Market, its strengthening and digitalisation are vital for Latvia, since the Single Market is the main instrument to advance EU competitiveness. Latvia, whilst being aware of global risks and challenges faced by EU economy, is advocating an open, rules-based and fair competition that benefits all EU actors.
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