Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments on the Future of Europe debate with the Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš:
"The Baltic and the Benelux countries could and should work much more together on the European level. Being small countries each of us, we could achieve much more if we would put common proposals on the table and be a counter balance to the big Member States at the European table."
"There are three areas were we would like your government to change policies: We need to green our Common Agriculture Policy if we want to fight against climate change. We should make every cent spent on it contribute to the transformation of our agricultural model so that it reduces our CO2 emissions, restores biodiversity and the quality of our soil. The CAP reform promotes a model that goes against these goals and the Latvian government supports it."
"Recently the Latvian government openly opposed any binding relocation schemes for refugees, which would organise European solidarity. It has also refused to join the UN Global Migration Compact, which is providing guidelines to tackle this challenge. Latvia’s signature should be there.
"The European Union puts human dignity at the forefront of its values. Latvia’s history as an unwilling part of the Soviet Union has resulted in a significant part of its population originating from former Soviet republics. While we understand that the wounds of the past cannot be ignored, we believe as a member of the EU, Latvia is strong enough not to keep more than 10% of its population stateless. Similarly, we believe that your country could and should do more promoting minority rights and fighting discrimination, especially when it comes to age, disability or sexual orientation.