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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 01.03.2009.–02.10.2014.
Amendments not included: 30.09.2014.

Republic of Latvia

Cabinet
Regulation No. 96

Adopted 3 February 2009

Procedures, by which the National Position of the Republic of Latvia shall be Developed, Harmonised, Approved and Updated in Matters of the European Union

Issued pursuant to
Section 11, Paragraph eight of the
Development Planning System Law

I. General Provisions

1. This Regulation shall determine the documents to be developed for defending the State development objectives in the European Union, the procedures for drawing up, co-ordination, approval and updating of these documents, as well as the procedures by which such documents may temporarily replace the relevant policy planning documents.

2. In order to ensure the observance of the interests of the Republic of Latvia in the process of initiation, preparation and taking of European Union decisions, the official opinion of the Republic of Latvia regarding a European Union policy document, draft legal enactment of the European Union or another matter on the agenda of the meetings of the European Council, the Council of Ministers of the European Union (hereinafter - Council of Ministers), committees or working groups of the Council of Ministers - the national position of the Republic of Latvia in matters of the European Union (hereinafter - national position) - shall be developed.

3. The national position shall replace policy planning documents, if the relevant field does not have specific basic governmental policy principles, developmental objectives and priorities, action directions, main tasks or results to be achieved regarding a matter on the agenda of a meeting of the European Union.

4. A work document - instruction - shall be developed for the representative of the Republic of Latvia for expressing the national position in committees or working groups of the Council of Ministers, as well as in committees and working groups of the European Commission (if the Council of Ministers with its legislation has authorised the European Commission to implement the regulations developed by the Council of Ministers).

5. Co-operation of State administrative institutions and other authorities in matters related to the participation of the Republic of Latvia in the decision making process of the European Union shall be co-ordinated by a meeting of Senior Officials in matters of the European Union (hereinafter - Senior Officials meeting), operating in accordance with the by-law thereof.

6. The Senior Officials meeting shall once every six months determine the institutions responsible for the working groups and committees of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers (hereinafter - responsible institutions) and co-responsible institutions and authorities (hereinafter - co-responsible authority), taking into account the division of competence prescribed in the by-laws and other regulatory enactments for the relevant institutions and authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall once every six months inform the meeting of State Secretaries regarding the division of responsibilities regarding the working groups and committees of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. The Senior Officials meeting shall determine the responsible institutions and co-responsible authorities regarding European Union policy documents, European Union draft legislation or other matters.

7. The responsible institution shall ensure the development of the national position in the matters on the agenda of the European Union that are within the competence thereof and its harmonisation with co-responsible authorities, self-government and social partner organisations, associations and foundations, as well as perform other measures, in order to defend the interests of Latvia in the process of initiation, development and taking of European Union decisions.

8. The responsible institution shall ensure public (including self-government and social partner organisations, associations and foundations) information regarding European Union policy documents, European Union draft legislation and the interests of Latvia therein, as well as ensure involving of the public in the decision-making process of the European Union, observing restrictions on access to information. The responsible institution shall ensure that the self-government and social partner organisations, associations and foundations, which have been involved in the development of the relevant national position, are informed regarding the progress of the relevant matter and the results achieved by the Republic of Latvia.

9. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall:

9.1. co-ordinate development of the national position and ensure that the responsible authority is determined regarding the matters to be examined referred to in Paragraph 2 of this Regulation, as well as, if necessary, draw the attention of the responsible institution to possible problematic issues;

9.2. follow the intersectoral unity of national positions and mutual consistency in the preparation and taking of decisions at different levels in the European Union; and

9.3. ensure the circulation of information related to the participation of the Republic of Latvia in the preparation and taking of European Union decisions.

10. The responsible institution shall develop the instruction for expressing the interests of the Republic of Latvia in the committees and working groups of the European Commission, harmonise it with co-responsible authorities, approve, co-ordinate the referred to activities, as well as ensure expressing of the referred to interests. If the matter to be examined in the committees and working groups of the European Commission is within the competence of several institutions or it substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia, it may be examined in a Senior Officials meeting.

11. The Cabinet Instruction shall prescribe the sample of the national position and the detailed procedures for its development and harmonisation, the sample of the instruction and the detailed procedures for its development, harmonisation and approval, as well as the procedures for the circulation of information between the European Union authorities and the permanent representation of the Republic of Latvia at the European Union (hereinafter - representation), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other institutions and authorities involved in the development of the national positions and instructions.

II. Development and Harmonisation of the National Position

12. The national positions shall be developed:

12.1. at as early as possible stage of the European Union discussions regarding European Union policy documents, European Union draft legislation and other matters, if they affect the interests of the Republic of Latvia, impose obligations on the Republic of Latvia or cause financial commitments, or not later than prior to the examination of the relevant matter in a working group or committee meeting of the Council of Ministers, if the relevant matter is on its agenda;

12.2. prior to the examination of the relevant matter in the Council of Ministers, except for the case, if the definite matter does not affect the interests of the Republic of Latvia, does not impose obligations on the Republic of Latvia and does not cause any financial commitments, or if the opinion of the Republic of Latvia on the definite matter has not changed since the previously approved position and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other co-responsible authorities consent thereto;

12.3. prior to the relevant matter being examined by the European Council;

12.4. prior to the examination of the matter in an informal meeting of the Council of Ministers, if the relevant matter substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia; or

12.5. if it is necessary to amend or supplement the approved national position substantially.

13. The Senior Officials meeting shall take a decision regarding conformity of a European Union policy document, European Union draft legal enactment or another matter with the conditions referred to in Sub-paragraph 12.1 of this Regulation and regarding the time period for developing positions in accordance with the proposal of the responsible institutions.

14. In order to formulate the national position regarding matters, which substantially affect the interests of the Republic of Latvia, the responsible institution, observing work effectiveness and restrictions on the access to information, shall establish an inter-institutional working group. The working group shall include representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other co-responsible authorities, as well as representatives from self-government and social partner organisations, associations and foundations shall be invited. The inter-institutional working group shall invite experts for solving specific matters.

15. The time periods for harmonisation shall be specified by the responsible institution in accordance with the Cabinet Instruction. If an institution or another authority has not submitted an opinion within the time period specified by the responsible authority, the national position shall be considered to be harmonised.

16. If it is expected that there shall be a financial impact on the State budget or self-government budgets from the matter included in the national position, the responsible institution shall harmonise the national position with the Ministry of Finance (if it impacts on the State budget) or the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Government (if it impacts on self-government budgets).

17. The delegated representatives of the inter-institutional working group referred to in Paragraph 14 of this Regulation shall be authorised to express the opinion of the institution or authority which they represent.

18. If a European Union policy document, European Union draft legal enactment or another matter, regarding which the national position is being developed, is within the competence of several institutions or substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia, the responsible institution shall submit the national position for examination to the Senior Officials meeting, and the Senior Officials meeting shall decide regarding submission of the national position for examination at the State Secretaries meeting or in the Cabinet.

19. Examination of the national position at the Senior Officials meeting may be initiated also by other institutions or authorities, as well as by self-government and social partner organisations, by associations and foundations.

20. If during the course of developing the national position it is impossible to agree regarding the division of responsibilities and competence, the Republic of Latvia position or any other matter associated with national positions, it shall be examined at the Senior Officials meeting. If agreement is not reached, the Senior Officials meeting shall decide regarding submission of the matter for examination at the State Secretaries meeting or in the Cabinet. The Cabinet shall examine the matter also in the case, if it is requested by a member of the Cabinet.

III. Approval and Representation of the National Position

21.The national position shall be approved by:

21.1. the Cabinet:

21.1.1. prior to the examination on merits of the relevant matter in a working group or committee of the Council of Ministers, if the matter substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia;

21.1.2. prior to the examination of the matter by the Council of Ministers or the European Council;

21.1.3. prior to the examination of the relevant matter in an informal meeting of the Council of Ministers, if the matter substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia;

21.1.4. if such has been decided by the Senior Officials meeting; or

21.1.5. if it is requested by a member of the Cabinet;

21.2. the responsible minister:

21.2.1. if the national position is being developed prior to the examination on merits of the relevant matter in a working group or committee of the Council of Ministers, or if it is necessary to amend or supplement the national position approved by the minister; or

21.2.2. if the national position has to be approved urgently and, taking into account the urgency, it is impossible to have it approved by the Cabinet.

22. The responsible ministry, when submitting the national position for examination by the Cabinet, shall include in the informative report the description of the matter to be examined, the examination stage of the European Union decision-making process and the opinion of the Republic of Latvia regarding it. The responsible minister in conformity with the competence shall inform the Cabinet regarding the actual matters to be examined in the relevant Council of Ministers meeting.

23. The responsible minister in conformity with the competence shall inform the Cabinet regarding the result of the relevant meeting of the Council of Ministers, if a decision taken therein does not comply with the essential interests of the Republic of Latvia

24. An instruction is mandatory for the participation of a representative of the Republic of Latvia in a Permanent Representatives Committee, Political and Security Committee, Special Committee on Agriculture, Economic and Financial Committee, as well as in other cases, if the Council of Ministers work group develops the matters to be examined in the Council of Ministers, without involving the Permanent Representative Committee, an the instruction shall be developed by the responsible institution in accordance with the Cabinet Instruction regarding the development and circulation of national positions of the Republic of Latvia in the European Union matters.

25. The decision regarding the preparation of an instruction for the representative of the Republic of Latvia to participate in other Council of Ministers working groups and committees shall be taken by the responsible institution. Then instruction for the representative of the Republic of Latvia in a relevant Council of Ministers committee or working group, except for the Permanent Representatives Committee, shall be developed by the responsible institution.

26. The instruction regarding a definite matter on the agenda of the meeting for the representative of the Republic of Latvia in the Permanent Representatives Committee shall be developed by the responsible institution, harmonising it with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-responsible authorities. Instructions shall be aggregated and shall be sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the representative of the Republic of Latvia in the Permanent Representatives Committee.

27. The representative of the Republic of Latvia in the relevant Council of Ministers meeting, Council of Ministers committee or working group shall within 48 hours, but if the matter to be examined in the relevant meeting is a matter of urgency, - within 24 hours after the meeting shall send an official report in accordance with the procedures prescribed in the Cabinet Instruction to the responsible institution, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representation regarding the results of the meeting.

28. The Republic of Latvia shall be represented in the European Council (at state and government leaders' level) by the Prime Minister.

29. At a Council of Ministers meeting the Republic of Latvia shall be represented by a member of the Cabinet in conformity with the competence and the agenda of the relevant Council of Ministers meeting. If the Cabinet member cannot participate in the Council of Ministers meeting, he or she shall be substituted by another Cabinet member or be represented by the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry, State Secretary, head of the representation or the deputy head of the representation.

30. The institution which is responsible for a Council of Ministers committee or working group, shall appoint a representative to the relevant committee or working group. Regarding a definite matter to be examined, the responsible institution shall ensure the participation of its representative in the committee or working group of the Council of Ministers meeting, in which the relevant matter is being examined.

31. If necessary, the institutions referred to in Paragraph 30 of these Regulations may appoint to the committees and working groups of the Council of Ministers a representative from the institution subordinate thereto or a representative of the private legal subject, if they are executing State administration functions in accordance with external regulatory enactments.

32. The representatives referred to in Paragraphs 29, 30 and 31 of this Regulation shall be responsible for expressing the national position at the relevant Council of Ministers meeting, Council of Ministers working group or committee in accordance with the approved national position or instruction.

IV. Participation of the Saeima

33. In accordance with the procedures laid down in the rules of order of the Saeima, the responsible institution in conformity with the competence shall inform the Saeima regarding the topical matters related to the work of the Council of Ministers.

34. The responsible institution in accordance with the procedures laid down in the rules of order of the Saeima shall submit the national position for examination to the Saeima European Affairs Committee prior to the examination of the matter in the European Council or at the meeting of the Council of Ministers, prior to the examination on merits of the matter in a Council of Ministers working group or committee or at other stages of examination of the matter, if it substantially affects the interests of the Republic of Latvia. The opinion of the Saeima European Affairs Committee shall be binding.

V. Closing Provisions

35. Cabinet Regulation No. 596 of 16 August 2005 Procedures, by which the National Position of the Republic of Latvia shall be Developed, Approved and Represented in Matters of the European Union (Latvijas Vēstnesis, 2005, No. 131) is repealed.

This Regulation shall come into force on 1 March 2009.

Prime Minister I. Godmanis

Minister for Foreign Affairs M. Riekstiņš

 


Translation © 2010 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Cabinet of Ministers Type: regulation Document number: 96Adoption: 03.02.2009.Entry into force: 01.03.2009.Publication: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 21, 06.02.2009.
Language:
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