Jonevs received the award for his novel "Jelgava 94", published by Apgads Mansards, a coming-of age story set against the background of the grunge scene in the eponymous Latvian town, the European Commisison said.
Jonevs was named along with 12 other writers who each receive a cash prize of €5,000 and the chance to become better-known across the continent.
The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is open to countries participating in Creative Europe, the EU funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors. Each year, national juries nominate the winning authors.
“My warmest congratulations to the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
"The Prize is dedicated to the best new and emerging authors in Europe, regardless of their country of origin or language. The aim is to showcase Europe’s best contemporary literature, encourage cross-border sales and promote the translation, publishing and reading of literature from other countries.”
This year's Prize winners will be presented with their awards during a gala ceremony at the Concert Noble in Brussels on 18 November.
According to EU figures the book and publishing industry contributes €23 billion to the EU's GDP and employs 135 000 people full time.