Media release

Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica: Latvian Presidency advanced work on EU’s democratic accountability and institutional efficiency

17 June 2015

“During its half-year term, the Latvian Presidency advanced the work on the better law-making agenda, reviving the European Citizens Initiative, and raising the transparency of policy-making in the EU,” said Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, the Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs on 17 June to the European Parliament's (EP) Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).

The members expressed appreciation for the Presidency's work both in chairing the Council's meetings and engaging with the EP.

The Committee members described the Latvian Presidency as vigorous, visible at the European Parliament and efficient in chairing the Council's work. Their questions to the Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs referred, among other things, to the Council's work on better law-making agenda, the European Citizens Initiative and transparency of policy-making in the EU.

“By making the work of the EU institutions more efficient, more open, more accountable, we can strengthen the structures and mechanisms to enable the EU to better deliver for its citizens,” said Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, describing the Presidency’s priorities and the work done.

She stressed that the Presidency facilitated discussions in the run-up to the European Commission’s proposal for a future inter-institutional agreement on better regulation. The draft for such an agreement to be concluded between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission will be discussed at the General Affairs Council on 23 June.

Speaking of the European Citizens’ Initiative, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica reminded members of the Committee that the Presidency made particular efforts to give impetus to discussions on how to make this instrument more efficient and user friendly: "We need to look closer why none of the three initiatives which secured the required one million signatures have resulted in a legislative proposal. We need to reflect on what should be the most appropriate response to both successful and rejected initiatives.

"She also highlighted the Presidency’s work on improving the transparency of legislative processes and a more structured civic dialogue.

The exchange of views at the AFCO Committee was organised to discuss the results of the Latvian EU Council Presidency in the areas that fall within the Committee’s competence.

Jānis Bērziņš