[53] 30,000 Jews were shot in Latvia in the autumn of 1941. [74] The population of Latvia reached its peak in 1990 at just under 2.7 million people. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The country is subdivided into 110 one-level municipalities and 9 cities. Common ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs, and pork. Extension from north to south is 210 km (130 mi) and from west to east 450 km (280 mi). His team works to counter disinformation in the EU and its neighbouring countries. The terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland". 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. [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. 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. The national tournament is the Latvian Hockey Higher League, held since 1931. 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. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats. There are 8 members of the European Parliament from Latvia. [62] Most were deported to Siberia where deaths were estimated at 40 percent, officers of the Latvian army being shot on the spot. Watch here our video from 2018 about the party. 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. On 18 February 2012, Latvia held a constitutional referendum on whether to adopt Russian as a second official language. [93], Phytogeographically, Latvia is shared between the Central European and Northern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. 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. [4], The Saeima, Latvia's parliament, was again elected in 1993. 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. On 28 December 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia discussed the agreement achieved on 24 December between the European Union and the United Kingdom on their future relationship after the... Read more. Latvia is a member of the European Union (EU). Ice hockey is usually considered the most popular sport in Latvia. [94] Forests account for 3,497,000 ha (8,640,000 acres) or 56% of the total land area. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby shares in the privileges and obligations of membership. Due to the revolutionary amendments to immigration law Latvia offers the opportunity to become resident in a Schengen Area member country with minimal bureaucratic requirements. The European Commission published it's opinion on the application on 15 July 1997. Latvia’s currency is Euro (€) since it became a member of the Eurozone on January 1, 2014. [57] In total 50,000 Baltic Germans left by the deadline of December 1939, with 1,600 remaining to conclude business and 13,000 choosing to remain in Latvia. Municipal roads in Latvia totals 30 439 km of roads and 8039 km of streets. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946). The European Union (EU) consists of 27 member states. Latvia has a long and successful tradition of extra-curricular education, called interest-related or hobby education. Latvia also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. This system also existed before World War II. [56]:271, More than 200,000 Latvian citizens died during World War II, including approximately 75,000 Latvian Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. [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. 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. Latvia is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, IMF, and WTO. Popular discontent exploded in the 1905 Russian Revolution, which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces. As of 1 May 2004 it is a member State of the European Union (more info). [19] Its capital and largest city is Riga; other notable major cities in Latvia are Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jelgava, Valmiera, Ventspils and Jūrmala. It is also a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and Nordic Investment Bank. 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. Amber, fossilized tree resin, is one of Latvia's most important cultural symbols. Latvia has a long basketball tradition, as the Latvian national basketball team won the first ever EuroBasket in 1935 and silver medals in 1939, after losing the final to Lithuania by one point. The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. 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. Representing 10.2% of Latvia's total foreign direct investment, American companies invested $127 million in 1999. There are 37 foreign embassies and 11 international organisations in Latvia's capital Riga. Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Latvian government, depending on the policy area being addressed. However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. 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. [citation needed][108]. Latvia has been a member of WTO since 10 February 1999. Latvia, which was occupied and annexed by the U.S.S.R. in June 1940, declared its independence on August 21, 1991. The General representative of Germany August Winnig formally handed over political power to the Latvian Provisional Government on 26 November. The festival takes place at the Latvian National Opera, the Great Guild, and the Great and Small Halls of the Dzintari Concert Hall. [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. This aroused popular protests against the USSR and also gave rise to an increasing popularity of poetry. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. 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. [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. World War I devastated the territory of what became the state of Latvia, and other western parts of the Russian Empire. Latvia has hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore—lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches. [43] Fighting continued sporadically between Sweden and Poland until the Truce of Altmark in 1629. (KPV LV). Latvia is the third poorest country in the European Union 02.07.2019. [56]:64[56]:56, Under German occupation, Latvia was administered as part of Reichskommissariat Ostland. Latvian cuisine has been influenced by the neighbouring countries. Rural areas were forced into collectivization. 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. RIGA - Latvia has the highest crime rate in the EU and the second highest in Europe, according to a recent report. [120] In 2013 Riga hosted the annual Northern Future Forum, a two-day informal meeting of the prime ministers of the Nordic-Baltic countries and the UK. [159] However, the chiefly consumption-driven growth in Latvia resulted in the collapse of Latvian GDP in late 2008 and early 2009, exacerbated by the global economic crisis, shortage of credit and huge money resources used for the bailout of Parex bank. The new government focused on smoothing Latvia's entry into NATO and the European Union, which took place in the first half of 2004. The secretariat of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) will be located in Riga. [citation needed], 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. 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. However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted. in Latvia comprises the following main features: VET attractiveness is increasing, especially for early leavers from education; In the summer of 1988, a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront. It has been held since 1873, normally every five years. [156], Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization (1999) and the European Union (2004). As a result, Latvia is running a biocapacity reserve. You'll have to pay a fine when you enter or leave Latvia if you: don't declare this money; give incorrect information It recommended that Latvia not be included in the first group of countries with whom accession negotiations be opened. Summer starts in June and lasts until August. 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. Interparliamentary co-operation between the Baltic Assembly and Nordic Council was signed in 1992 and since 2006 annual meetings are held as well as regular meetings on other levels. A referendum on European Union membership was held in Latvia on 20 September 2003. [79], The Republic of Latvia declared the end of the transitional period and restored full independence on 21 August 1991, in the aftermath of the failed Soviet coup attempt. 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. [198] The greatest number of patents, both nationwide and abroad, are in medical chemistry. [150] Per capita, Latvia is one of the largest contributors to international military operations. Latvia. [citation needed], Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. [217], Latvia has participated successfully in both Winter and Summer Olympics. [citation needed], In the post-war period, Latvia was made to adopt Soviet farming methods. [125][137][138], The National Armed Forces (Latvian: Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki (NAF)) of Latvia consists of the Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force, National Guard, Special Tasks Unit, Military Police, NAF staff Battalion, Training and Doctrine Command, and Logistics Command. [109], Latvia's foreign policy priorities include co-operation in the Baltic Sea region, European integration, active involvement in international organisations, contribution to European and transatlantic security and defence structures, participation in international civilian and military peacekeeping operations, and development co-operation, particularly the strengthening of stability and democracy in the EU's Eastern Partnership countries. 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). Its GDP per head in purchasing power standards is about one quarter of the EU-15 average. Latvians march to commemorate SS veterans, "Opinion | Latvia opens its KGB archives — while Russia continues to whitewash its past", "Stories of Statelessness: Latvia and Estonia – IBELONG", "Emotion and Blame in Collective Action: Russian Voice in Kyrgyzstan and Latvia", "Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey 2012 Buildings, roads and other artificial areas cover 5% of the EU …and forests 40%", "Gauja National Park travel – Lonely Planet", "2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)", "Ecological Footprint Accounting for Countries: Updates and Results of the National Footprint Accounts, 2012-2018", "Латвийская более или менее официальная символика", "Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity - Supplementary Material", Constitution of the Republic of Latvia with amendments and revisions, "Diplomatic and Consular Representations", "A foreign policy based on co-operation and constructive engagement", "Estonian Chairmanship of the Baltic Council of Ministers in 2011", "Co-operation of Baltic and Nordic States", "Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for public administration", "Nordic-Baltic Mobility and Network Programme for Business and Industry", "Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia", "Nordic Council of Ministers is looking for a Senior Adviser to run the Secretariat of Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture", "Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE)", "The Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy 2008", "Statistics of the Human Development Report", Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Latvia. 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. 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". [31] Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians. According to the Russian Empire Census of 1897, Latvians formed 68.3% of the total population of 1.93 million; Russians accounted for 12%, Jews for 7.4%, Germans for 6.2%, and Poles for 3.4%. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora. [55] In the north, Latvia, Finland and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. [2] As of 2004 there were more than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi (The Godskeepers), whose religion is based on Latvian mythology. On 18 November 1918, in Riga, the People's Council of Latvia proclaimed the independence of the new country, with Kārlis Ulmanis becoming the head of the provisional government. The second most popular sport is basketball. 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. [200] 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. [181] In 2017 there were 1 054 433 female and 895 683 male living in Latvian territory. English is also widely accepted in Latvia in business and tourism. In 2011, there were 416 religious Jews, 319 Muslims and 102 Hindus. [166] In April 2010 Latvia had the highest unemployment rate in the EU, at 22.5%, ahead of Spain, which had 19.7%.[167]. First group of countries with whom accession negotiations be opened of 2.4 million inhabitants with a variety large! 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