EU Presidency will take place at 'pivotal moment'

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Latvia's six-month tenure of the European Union's rotating presidency will take place at a "pivotal moment" in history, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said Monday as he briefed Latvia's cadre of EU ambassadors on what to expect.

Rinkēvičs emphasized that Latvia intends to focus on promoting competitiveness and growth in the EU; utilizing digital potential to stimulate the EU’s growth; and strengthening the role of the EU on the global stage, according to a statement about the meeting from the Foreign Minsistry.

He also stressed "the dynamism of the Latvian Presidency and the need to adapt to changing conditions."

In addition to the aforementioned "three groups of priority issues" he also identified the need to attend to "priorities of the EU’s eastern and southern neighborhoods."

"The Riga Summit [May 21-22] will be an important forum to analyse progress and outline new strategic moves. The EU’s eastern partners are different and their involvement should be appropriate, the best cooperation formula tailored for each country. The EU’s involvement in Central Asia, a region of geostrategic importance, is also important.

Latvia is hoping for a constructive common sense approach to the solution of the Ukrainian crisis; aggression must stop, responsible action must be taken that would solve problems instead of aggravating them," the statement said.

Earlier on Monday, journalists were briefed on the numerous events scheduled to take place in connection with the EU presidency during the first six months of 2014 and the massive security and logistics operation that will accompany it, inevitably causing some inconvenience to Riga residents while politicians, officials, media and their coteries are ferried relentlessly into and out of the city.

Latest details of what to expect from the EU presidency can be found at:

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