Focus on European policy

Latvia's President visits Berlin Focus on European policy

Chancellor Angela Merkel today received Raimonds Vējonis, President of the Republic of Latvia, at the Federal Chancellery. One main focus of their meeting was European and foreign policy matters, alongside bilateral relations.

Angela Merkel and Raimonds Vējonis shake hands on the red carpet in front of the Federal Chancellery.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes the Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis to Berlin

Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

The 52-year-old Raimonds Vējonis was elected for a four-year term of office as Latvia’s head of state in 2018. During his five-day visit to Germany he will also be meeting Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble.

The Republic of Latvia lies in north-eastern Europe. With a landmass of some 64,600 square kilometres, it is home to around two million people. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are collectively termed the Baltic states. In 2004, Latvia joined both the EU and NATO. Since 2014 it has also been part of the euro zone.

A strong Europe and joint security policy

Germany and Latvia enjoy close and cordial bilateral relations. Germany is one of the main trading partners of the Central Baltic states in terms of both imports and exports.

The German government supports the integration of Latvia into Euro-Atlantic structures, and actively supported the transformation of the country’s economy, administration and judiciary after the end of the Cold War.

Close partnership with the Baltic states

During her trip to the Baltic states in September 2018, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to Germany’s close friendship with the Baltic states, and to the excellent bilateral contacts with these states – "in the economic and cultural spheres, between the peoples of our country, and at political level too".

There is agreement "that only a strong Europe can play its role in the world, that only a strong Europe can defend its values, and that we can only make a contribution to defending ourselves and ensuring our security by working together," Angela Merkel said at that time.