About Latvia » Latvia in European Union (EU)
According to report “Doing business 2009” of The World Bank, Latvia among 181 world states is in place 29 in list of most favorable states for entrepreneurship.
People’s Council of Latvia proclaimed independence of the new country in Riga on November 18, 1918. Since that Latvia was independent country. On February 1922 was adopted constitution (Satversme) of Republic of Latvia. On 1940 Latvia was occupied by Soviet Union until 1991 when Latvia restored full independence.
Latvia became a member of the United Nations on September 1991, and is a signatory to a number of UN organizations and other international agreements, including Council of Europe, CERCO, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, UNESCO, UNICEF, International Criminal Court, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Latvia is joined to European Union since May 2004 and Latvia is also member of NATO since March 2004.
Latvia have embassies in Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uzbekistan.
On December 21, 2007 Schengen border-free zone was once more enlarged to include nine new nations. Now Latvia is one of Schengen countries. Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. United Kingdom and Ireland are not included in Schengen zone.
The Schengen rules were absorbed into European Union law by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, although the area officially includes three non-EU member states—Iceland, Norway, Switzerland—and de facto includes three European micro-states—Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. All but two EU member states—Ireland and the United Kingdom—are required to implement Schengen and, with the exceptions of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania, have already done so. The area currently covers a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometers.
Whether a passport or an EU approved national identity card is required for identity checks done at airports, hotels, or by police, depends on national rules and varies between countries. Occasionally, regular border controls are used between Schengen countries.
European Union (EU) market
Any business in the EU can benefit from the huge European market: 27 countries with over 480 million consumers.
The principle of free movement of goods, allowing goods to be transported and sold anywhere in the EU, is a cornerstone of the EU market. To a certain extent, complex and varied national laws have been replaced by a single set of European rules, cutting down on costs and inconvenience for businesses wanting to trade in other EU countries.
The EU market for goods is already highly integrated but there are still a lot of legal and administrative barriers affecting trade in services. In order to release the untapped potential of services markets in the EU, the Services Directive was adopted in December 2006.
Companies can already bid for public contracts in other EU countries.
To make the EU market work efficiently, businesses have to respect a number of rules and compete fairly. Anticompetitive behaviors, such as the abuse of a dominant market position, price-fixing agreements and unwarranted public support, are prohibited.
The EU actively supports businesses, especially small ones, giving free, personalized assistance through a series of pan-European networks and services:
Enterprise Europe Network
The Enterprise Europe Network offers a one-stop shop to meet the needs of businesses in the EU. It provides information and assistance on a wide range of issues, including:
– Cross-border activities;
– Innovation and technology;
– Access to finance and programs;
– Business cooperation.
It helps companies understand the EU laws directly related to their activities.
The network also provides information through awareness-raising activities (trade fairs, seminars, lectures and workshops) and a range of publications in local languages (guides, newsletters, websites).
Businesses have access to the network via 600 local contact points which ensure wide geographic coverage in about 49 countries across Europe and beyond. A large team (almost 4000-strong) of experienced staff with backgrounds in business, industry and research is on hand for companies in need of advice.
Most partners in the network are from qualified regional organizations such as chambers of commerce, business organizations, regional development agencies and university technology centers.
SOLVIT helps businesses solve concrete cross-border problems arising from the misapplication of EU rules by public authorities, including:
– market access for products;
– provision of services;
– going self-employed;
– public contracts;
– tax or VAT reimbursements;
– border controls.
Available in all official EU languages, SOLVIT finds pragmatic solutions through peer pressure and cooperation with the administrations involved, within ten weeks. To do so, the business’s local SOLVIT centre works closely with the centre of the country where the problem occurred.
SOLVIT consists of 30 centers, each part of a national administration, in every EU country and in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
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