The European Union will have a future if you – young people – will take it as yours and will want to develop it further. I encourage you to be active, to take part in economic and social processes also on the European level
Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis
The Citizens’ Dialogue was held in Cēsis State Gymnasium on Europe Day and focused mainly on the economic issues surrounding development in the EU and in Latvia.
The Dialogue was held in a positive atmosphere with questions and comments from the audience, which included issues that are topical for young people. The audience of this Dialogue mainly focused their questions on climate change and the green economy, the European Parliament elections and the exchange of information.
The event began with a brief introductory speech and presentation by Vice-President Dombrovskis. He gave an overview of the Economic and Monetary Union and the main learnings from the process of overcoming the recent financial crisis in the following fields: stronger macroeconomic and financial surveillance, European Stability Mechanism, ECB Monetary policy, Banking Union and Capital Market Union.
The Vice-President also briefly covered the main economic challenges in Latvia, the European Commission recommendations for the country and their implementation, the development of the European Monetary Union and concrete proposals by the Commission in the above mentioned topics.
Vice-President Dombrovskis stressed that: "About three quarters of EU citizens see the euro as a good thing. The support in Latvia is even higher than this average. When we worked on the introduction of the euro in Latvia in 2012 and 2013 we had to do a lot to convince society but now we can see that it is appreciated."
On the economic situation in Latvia, he emphasised that more attention has to be paid to the issue of social inequality in Latvia, which is one of the highest in the EU and which is not only a social but also an economical problem.
Several questions were linked to green economy, climate change, European Parliament elections and information exchanges on EU issues. Vice-President Dombrovskis emphasised the leading role of the EU in climate policy and many practical steps and policies the EU is taking in this field.
At the end of the discussion, he underlined that very often it is taken for granted what the EU has done for young people or what is its financial support for many projects in Latvia including in Cēsis. But it is not so, therefore it is important to participate in the European elections and make an informed decision.