Open lecture of Prof. Zaneta Ozolina (University of Latvia) – “The Role of European integration for Latvia” « International Office

Open lecture of Prof. Zaneta Ozolina (University of Latvia) – “The Role of European integration for Latvia”

APRIL 30, 2015 – On April 27, 2015 Prof. Zaneta Ozolina (University of Latvia, Department of Political Science) held an open lecture “The Role of European integration for Latvia” at the Faculty of International Relations.

Drawing parallels between the experience of the Baltic states and Ukraine, professor clearly outlined the main ways of the development of political situation. “15 years Latvia was striving for joining the European Union. We were confident in our success, because all this time we were actively implementing painful and unpopular reforms. Let’s be frank – Ukraine only has started this process, and before this was only an imitation. During the year, you have shown your desire to introduce reforms, which lies in the basis of European Union “, -noted Prof. Ozolina.

During the lecture Zaneta Ozolina made a detailed analysis of the economy of Baltic countries, including the impact of Russian market in Latvia. According to the professor, in the early 90’s Latvian market by 85-90% was dependent on Russia, however today this share is only 10-13%. Janet Ozolina also drew attention to the fact that the EU member-states are not interested in investing in new countries which are joining them. And in contrast, the European Union is actively exporting to other countries, which automatically brings them closer to the European community. According to Prof. Ozolina, this is the reason that Russia opposes Ukraine’s joining the EU. “It is worth striving to join the European Union. It means economy modernization, growth of GDP and wages, and substantial investments. There is no segment of economy in Latvia today that have suffered from the country’s membership in the EU “- shared political experience of Latvia Janet Ozolina.

In addition, Professor of Latvia University gave practical advice to Ukraine on political decision-making – to speak the truth about the situation in the country, without hope for gifts from other countries, to develop effective government control and actively expand the circle of friends in the EU. “Every country lobbies its interests, and therefore the more pro-Ukrainian representatives in various institutions and organizations in Europe, the stronger will be support of Ukraine in the EU”, – concluded Zaneta Ozolina.

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