The 2006 IIHF World Championship was held in Riga. [155] In November 2012, the three countries agreed to create a joint military staff in 2013. Latvia. [125][132], Approximately 206,000 non-citizens [133]– 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. airBaltic is the Latvian flag carrier airline and a low-cost carrier with hubs in all three Baltic States, but main base in Riga, Latvia. Albeit having experienced a difficult transition to a liberal economy and its re-orientation toward Western Europe, Latvia is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. [165][2] The largest groups as of 2011[update] were: In the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 38% of Latvian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", while 48% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 11% stated that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". *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. "[136] Additionally, there have been reports of police abuse of detainees and arrestees, poor prison conditions and overcrowding, judicial corruption, incidents of violence against ethnic minorities, and societal violence and incidents of government discrimination against homosexuals. In a report titled "Europe's Crime Capitals," Forbes business magazine claimed that only Turkey has a higher crime rate than the Baltic state. The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. Of these, 42% are raised bogs; 49% are fens; and 9% are transitional mires. On 4 May 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, and the Latvian SSR was renamed Republic of Latvia. The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian, which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. It plans to establish the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga.[152]. [150] Per capita, Latvia is one of the largest contributors to international military operations. This year features the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. [53] 30,000 Jews were shot in Latvia in the autumn of 1941. The Best Travel, Food and Culture Guides for Latvia, Europe - Local News & Top Things to Do The length of Latvia's Baltic coastline is 494 km (307 mi). [154] In January 2011, the Baltic states were invited to join NORDEFCO, the defence framework of the Nordic countries. [93], The 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranks Latvia second, after Switzerland, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies. Amber, fossilized tree resin, is one of Latvia's most important cultural symbols. [80], Language and citizenship laws have been opposed by many Russophones. 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. Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area. Extraordinary Brussels European Council confirms the EU's determination to conclude accession negotiations with 10 EU candidate states, including Latvia, at the Copenhagen European Council on December 12 – 13 and to sign the accession treaty in April, 2003. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule (1710–1918) and later Soviet occupation, 26.9% of the population of Latvia are ethnic Russians,[24] some of whom (10.7% of Latvian residents[25]) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. It has been held since 1873, normally every five years. 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). [173], The four biggest ports of Latvia are located in Riga, Ventspils, Liepāja and Skulte. [citation needed], Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. In 2018, share of population aged 30–34 with tertiary education attainment in Latvia was above the EU average, but adults' participation in lifelong learning is below the EU average. The national account deficit for 2007, for example, represented more than 22% of the GDP for the year while inflation was running at 10%. EU Multiannual Financial Framework 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. Riga's boulevards and some streets outside the Old Town date from this period. The total length of its land boundary is 1,368 km (850 mi), of which 343 km (213 mi) is shared with Estonia to the north, 276 km (171 mi) with the Russian Federation to the east, 161 km (100 mi) with Belarus to the southeast and 588 km (365 mi) with Lithuania to the south. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Latvian government, depending on the policy area being addressed. The country is subdivided into 110 one-level municipalities and 9 cities. Capital city Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. ", "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. The new government focused on smoothing Latvia's entry into NATO and the European Union, which took place in the first half of 2004. Both nowadays cover a variety of different fields. [193], The country's Orthodox Christians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. 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. [145] Latvia acts as the lead nation in the coordination of the Northern Distribution Network for transportation of non-lethal ISAF cargo by air and rail to Afghanistan. However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted. Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. There are 2,256 lakes that are bigger than 1 ha (2.5 acres), with a collective area of 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi). Latvia is a unitary state, currently divided into 110 one-level municipalities (Latvian: novadi) and 9 republican cities (Latvian: republikas pilsētas) with their own city council and administration: Daugavpils, Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Jūrmala, Liepāja, Rēzekne, Riga, Valmiera, and Ventspils. Major rivers include the Daugava River, Lielupe, Gauja, Venta, and Salaca, the largest spawning ground for salmon in the eastern Baltic states. 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. [85], Most of Latvia's territory is less than 100 m (330 ft) above sea level. All of the minority schools (Jewish, Polish, Belarusian, Estonian, Lithuanian) were closed down leaving only two media of instructions in the schools: Latvian and Russian. The U.S.S.R. recognized its sovereignty on September 6, and United Nations membership followed shortly thereafter. [34] By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Latgalians, Selonians, Semigallians (in Latvian: kurši, latgaļi, sēļi and zemgaļi), as well as the Finnic tribe of Livonians (lībieši) speaking a Finnic language. Latvia was the last of the states which would join the EU in 2004 to hold a referendum on the issue. In the summer of 1988, a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront. Throughout all the centuries, however, an actual Latvian state had not been established, so the borders and definitions of who exactly fell within that group are largely subjective. [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. The General representative of Germany August Winnig formally handed over political power to the Latvian Provisional Government on 26 November. On occasions, especially in 1944, opposing Latvian troops faced each other in battle.[56]:299. [citation needed], Riga International Airport is the busiest airport in the Baltic states with 7.8 million passengers in 2019. The national tournament is the Latvian Hockey Higher League, held since 1931. Big European events have been celebrated in Riga such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and the European Film Awards 2014. Until the age of 39, there are more male than female. [60] Latvia, then a puppet government, was headed by Augusts Kirhenšteins. [citation needed] It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 2.09/10, ranking it 159th globally out of 172 countries. These have their own city councils and mu… [173] Free port of Ventspils is one of the busiest ports in the Baltic states. In 2020, Latvia's contribution to the EU budget is EUR 317.34 million. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. [49], During the 19th century, the social structure changed dramatically. [citation needed], During these two centuries Latvia experienced economic and construction boom – ports were expanded (Riga became the largest port in the Russian Empire), railways built; new factories, banks, and a University were established; many residential, public (theatres and museums), and school buildings were erected; new parks formed; and so on. And from 70 females are 2,3 times more than males. There are 37 foreign embassies and 11 international organisations in Latvia's capital Riga. Winters have average temperatures of −6 °C (21 °F) and are characterized by stable snow cover, bright sunshine, and short days. Since Latvia had maintained a well-developed infrastructure and educated specialists, Moscow decided to base some of the Soviet Union's most advanced manufacturing in Latvia. 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. The adoption process began 1 May 2004, when Latvia joined the European Union, entering the EU's Economic and Monetary Union. [56]:271, More than 200,000 Latvian citizens died during World War II, including approximately 75,000 Latvian Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units established by the occupation authority participated in the Holocaust and other atrocities. Eastern Latvia was cleared of Red Army forces by Latvian and Polish troops in early 1920 (from the Polish perspective the Battle of Daugavpils was a part of the Polish–Soviet War). [citation needed], Latvia operates Inčukalns underground gas storage facility, one of the largest underground gas storage facilities in Europe and the only one in the Baltic states. [37] The local people, however, did not convert to Christianity as readily as the Church had hoped. [197] By 2020 the government aims to spend 1.5% of GDP on research and development, with half of the investments coming from the private sector. Approximately 30,000 performers altogether participate in the event. Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months. In the course of the war, both occupying forces conscripted Latvians into their armies, in this way increasing the loss of the nation's "live resources". These have their own city councils and municipal administrations. [citation needed], In the 19th century, Latvian nationalist movements emerged. [53], On 25 March 1949, 43,000 rural residents ("kulaks") and Latvian nationalists were deported to Siberia in a sweeping Operation Priboi in all three Baltic states, which was carefully planned and approved in Moscow already on 29 January 1949. 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 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. Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms. To qualify for a Blue Card, you must hold a university or college diploma from an educational programme that lasted three years or longer. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. The most successful Olympic athlete in the history of independent Latvia has been Māris Štrombergs, who became a two-time Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012 at Men's BMX.[218]. [178], Latvia has three big hydroelectric power stations in Pļaviņu HES (825MW), Rīgas HES (402 MW) and Ķeguma HES-2 (192 MW). Latvia participates in several NATO Centres of Excellence: Civil-Military Co-operation in the Netherlands, Cooperative Cyber Defence in Estonia and Energy Security in Lithuania. The Soviets reoccupied the country in 1944–1945, and further deportations followed as the country was collectivised [21] It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990 and restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvian is the official language. [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. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946). [216] Dinamo Riga is the country's strongest hockey club, playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. [158], Since the year 2000, Latvia has had one of the highest (GDP) growth rates in Europe. [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). [30], The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes (along with Couronians, Selonians and Semigallians), which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. [citation needed] 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). [61] The Soviet Union incorporated Latvia on 5 August 1940, as The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. [42], In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russia struggled for supremacy in the eastern Baltic. The pact contained a secret protocol, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence". Popular discontent exploded in the 1905 Russian Revolution, which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces. The images may be used free of charge only for the purpose of promoting Latvia to foreign media. [29] It performs favorably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance, living standards, and peacefulness. The white wagtail (Motacilla alba, Latvian: baltā cielava) is Latvia's national bird. [131], The country has a large ethnic Russian community, which was guaranteed basic rights under the constitution and international human rights laws ratified by the Latvian government. [176], National road network in Latvia totals 1675 km of main roads, 5473 km of regional roads and 13 064 km of local roads. [citation needed], Estonian and Latvian forces defeated the Germans at the Battle of Wenden in June 1919,[50] and a massive attack by a predominantly German force—the West Russian Volunteer Army—under Pavel Bermondt-Avalov was repelled in November. Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, and intellectual property protection and avoidance of double taxation.[163][164]. The NATO Summit 2006 was held in Riga. From the age of 40 – more female. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants[18] and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). Weekly updated information on COVID-19 reported in the EU/EEA. The largest city in Latvia is Riga, the second largest city is Daugavpils and the third largest city is Liepaja. Latvia’s priorities for the European Union agenda in 2020 In 2019, a new institutional cycle commenced in the European Union: in May, European Parliamentary elections took place and a new roster of members emerged; and then, on 1 December, the new European Commission began its work headed by Ursula von der Leyen, and the new President of the European Council, Charles Michel, took office. [174], Latvian Railway's main network consists of 1,860 km of which 1,826 km is 1,520 mm Russian gauge railway of which 251 km are electrified, making it the longest railway network in the Baltic States. New industry was created in Latvia, including a major machinery factory RAF in Jelgava, electrotechnical factories in Riga, chemical factories in Daugavpils, Valmiera and Olaine—and some food and oil processing plants. While it is now required that all school students learn Latvian, schools also include English, German, French and Russian in their curricula. Extension from north to south is 210 km (130 mi) and from west to east 450 km (280 mi). The country is also bordered by Russia and Belarus, and it … In 2012, 45.0% of births were to unmarried women. [85], The total length of Latvia's boundary is 1,866 km (1,159 mi). Severe spells of winter weather with cold winds, extreme temperatures of around −30 °C (−22 °F) and heavy snowfalls are common. Find out more about how Latvia benefits from EU funding. and Sovieticised. English is also widely accepted in Latvia in business and tourism. Latvia's population has been multiethnic for centuries, though the demographics shifted dramatically in the 20th century due to the World Wars, the emigration and removal of Baltic Germans, the Holocaust, and occupation by the Soviet Union. 18 November. Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Representing 10.2% of Latvia's total foreign direct investment, American companies invested $127 million in 1999. VET ([1] In the education system and policy of Latvia VET is referred to as ‘vocational education’ (in Latvian: ‘profesionālā izglītība’).The term ‘training’ is not commonly used in the national context.) Latvia hosts one European Union institution, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). [103] Non-marine molluscs of Latvia include 159 species. The agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom on future relationship discussed at the Cabinet and the Saeima commissions. [citation needed], Species that are endangered in other European countries but common in Latvia include: black stork (Ciconia nigra), corncrake (Crex crex), lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina), white-backed woodpecker (Picoides leucotos), Eurasian crane (Grus grus), Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), European wolf (Canis lupus) and European lynx (Felis lynx). Latvian cuisine has been influenced by the neighbouring countries. [citation needed] In practice, however, the emancipation was actually advantageous to the landowners and nobility,[citation needed] as it dispossessed peasants of their land without compensation, forcing them to return to work at the estates "of their own free will". 2. [171], The IMF concluded the First Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with the Republic of Latvia in July 2012 announcing that Latvia's economy has been recovering strongly since 2010, following the deep downturn in 2008–09. Since independence, theatre, scenography, choir music, and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture. [177] The best known roads are A1 (European route E67), connecting Warsaw and Tallinn, as well as European route E22, connecting Ventspils and Terehova. [207] Folk songs and classical choir songs are sung, with emphasis on a cappella singing, though modern popular songs have recently been incorporated into the repertoire as well. [94] Forests account for 3,497,000 ha (8,640,000 acres) or 56% of the total land area. On the economic front, the Commission noted clear improvements and concluded that Latvia could now be classified as a "functioning market economy", a distinction that it failed to receive in the 1998 assessment. [87][88][89], Coastal regions, especially the western coast of the Courland Peninsula, possess a more maritime climate with cooler summers and milder winters, while eastern parts exhibit a more continental climate with warmer summers and harsher winters. [citation needed] In Latvia, the Swedish period is generally remembered as positive; serfdom was eased, a network of schools was established for the peasantry, and the power of the regional barons was diminished. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. [201] There were 59 hospitals in Latvia in 2009, down from 94 in 2007 and 121 in 2006. Approximately 200 farms, occupying 2,750 ha (6,800 acres), are engaged in ecologically pure farming (using no artificial fertilizers or pesticides). 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 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. However, by 2010, commentators[169][170] noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. Latvia has a total area of 64,559 km (24,926 sq mi) of which 62,157 km (23,999 sq mi) land, 18,159 km (7,011 sq mi) agricultural land, 34,964 km (13,500 sq mi) forest land and 2,402 km (927 sq mi) inland water. There are four historical and cultural regions in Latvia – Courland, Latgale, Vidzeme, Zemgale, which are recognised in Constitution of Latvia. Winter starts in mid-December and lasts until mid-March. [134][135] In 2011, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities "urged Latvia to allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. In ancient times, amber found along the Baltic Sea coast was sought by Vikings as well as traders from Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire. 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. Latvia co-operates with Estonia and Lithuania in several trilateral Baltic defence co-operation initiatives: Future co-operation will include sharing of national infrastructures for training purposes and specialisation of training areas (BALTTRAIN) and collective formation of battalion-sized contingents for use in the NATO rapid-response force. [86][93], Latvia has the 5th highest proportion of land covered by forests in the European Union, after Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia. [122], Latvia hosted the 2006 NATO Summit and since then the annual Riga Conference has become a leading foreign and security policy forum in Northern Europe. There are 8 members of the European Parliament from Latvia. [37] Riga became an important point of east–west trading[37] and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. Latvia’s currency is Euro (€) since it became a member of the Eurozone on January 1, 2014. [188] According to the Central Election Commission, 74.8% voted against, 24.9% voted for and the voter turnout was 71.1%. Its national insect is the two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata, Latvian: divpunktu mārīte). However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. Current NBA players include Kristaps Porziņģis, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, Dāvis Bertāns, who plays for the Washington Wizards, and Rodions Kurucs, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets. The busiest ports is latvia in the eu the Baltic Sea moderates the climate, although it many! Be included in the Supreme Council in the Baltic Sea states and Nordic investment Bank 18 %. [ ]. Ask won the Euroleague tournament three times in a typical Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates fields. Has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic long-term goal of transitioning from labor-consuming economy knowledge-based! Half of 2015, Latvia was established in 1991 in Riga. [ 179.. 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