The country-specific recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each Member State, which analyse its economic situation and provide tailored policy advice on measures that it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They cover the particular challenges that the Member State is facing in a broad range of areas: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, efficiency of the public administration, competition etc. The final adoption of country-specific recommendations prepared by the Commission takes place at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
In 2013, Latvia remained among the fastest growing economies in the EU and joined the euro as from 1 January 2014. It has a sound macroeconomic and fiscal basis and in 2013 Latvia's structural balance was at the medium-term objective.
Latvia has made some progress to address the 2013 country-specific recommendations, but a number of issues remain to be addressed. The adoption of the Fiscal Discipline Law and the fiscal council are welcome and the liberalisation of the electricity market for industry, as well as the adopted legislation on the gas market are positive steps, though further action is needed improve interconnections and step up energy efficiency.
In the medium to long term, Latvia faces a number of challenges, in particular to improve the quality of higher education and science output, reform social assistance, build energy links to European networks and further improve the efficiency of the judicial system. See how Latvia compares with other EU Member States in key areas.
2014 European Commission's recommendations in brief
The Commission has issued five country-specific recommendations to Latvia to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: public finances; competitiveness; social inclusion; energy; efficiency of the public administration.