Divisions among Latvian MEPs

Coordinating work in Latvia’s national interest with fellow MEPs Iveta Grigule and Tatjana Zdanoka will likely be problematic, MEP Artis Pabriks told Latvian Public Television’s morning news program Panorama Friday morning.  

Latvia’s eight newly elected members of the European Parliament (MEPs) should cooperate across political groups for the sake of state interests, says Pabriks, a former defense and foreign affairs minister beginning his first term as MEP.

“It would only have been right, coming as we do from such a small nation, being only eight deputies, that we try to cover the committees and sectors representing our national interests,” he explained.

The four MEPs elected on the Unity Party ticket have affiliated with the EP political group European People’s Party. As such, incumbents Sandra Kalniete and Krisjanis Karins, and new MEP’s Valdis Dombrovskis and Pabriks have coordinated their choice of committees and sub-committees to work on the broadest possible scope of issues, he said.

Consultations with incumbent National Alliance party representative Roberts Zīle, in his third term now as a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, have also been part of the Unity deputies’ decision-making process, said Pabriks. He also predicted that cooperation with Harmony Center deputy Andrejs Mamikins, affiliated with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group, would likely go well.

On the other hand, Grigule’s choice to join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group has Pabriks concerned, because it is “in total opposition to the EU.”

“The other EP groups do not think this faction’s representatives could assume any leading positions in the EP, because these people are against it,” he said.

As regards Tatjana Zdanoka of Latvia’s Russian Party, Pabriks pointed out that there were very few possibilities of finding common ground to talk.

“With Zdanoka there’s a completely different issue here – in principle I don’t think it’s possible,” he went on to say.

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