Latvia's EU Presidency costs below estimates

The latest estimates give the direct costs of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of this year as €45m, which is much lower than the original estimate of €60m. Latvian Radio reported later on Tuesday that the total costs of the presidency - indirect and direct ones - came to €80m, which means that a total of €27m were saved from the budget that was estimated at the start of the presidency. 

According to the Latvian Foreign Ministry, the direct costs of the Latvian EU Presidency were €4.037m in 2013, €18.95m euros in 2014, while the preliminary estimate of the costs in 2015 is €22.68m euros, adding up to €45.667m.

The actual costs of the EU Presidency were smaller than planned – by €3.2m in 2013, €11.2m in 2014 and by €15m in 2015.

Martins Dregeris, an advisor to the Latvian foreign minister, told BNS that, in addition to the direct costs of organizing altogether 197 Presidency events in Latvia, there had been also indirect costs or public administration personnel costs which totaled €36m in 2013-15, including €3.2m in 2013, €14.55m in 2014 and €18.88m in 2015. 

The costs of the Latvian EU Presidency in 2015 still are preliminary because certain activities, such as the work of the Presidency Trio and some cultural projects, still continue after the completion of the six-month Presidency term, Dregeris said.

Latvia held its first ever Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of this year. On July 1, 2015, the EU Presidency rotated to Luxembourg.

Latvia's EU Presidency seems to have been handled well, as a number of countries praised Latvia's performance after the Presidency. Now it looks like it was handled in a rather thrifty manner, too.

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