EU Presidency priorities published

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As Latvia prepares to play host to a variety of European Union bigwigs including EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk on January 8-9, it has published an easy-to-digest list of its agenda during the upcoming six months holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The Priorities and Programme of the Latvian Presidency lists the three main areas of concern as "Competitive Europe, Digital Europe and Engaged Europe," a mantra that has become familiar during numerous earlier briefings of officials in Riga, Brussels and elsewhere.

The agenda also flags up Latvia's own experience of emerging from crisis by means of hard-hitting austerity measures and hints that the European Union needs something similar in order to emerge from what most analysts predict is likely to be a sluggish 2015 in terms of growth.

"Only by developing competitive industry and service sectors can Europe facilitate job creation, and thus also promote social cohesion. Based on Latvia's own experience we know that this is possible through efficient structural reforms and growth-stimulating investment measures," the document says. 

The main tasks for the Latvian Presidency are listed as: "To work on the Investment Plan for Europe; continue the work on strengthening the Single Market; launch discussions and start working on the Energy Union; promote industrial competitiveness."

Also on Tuesday a postage stamp in honor of the Presidency is due to be released.

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