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    The incoming Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on making Europe a more competitive, digital and engaged economy

    Latvia’s EU Presidency to Focus on Competitive, Engaged Europe: Official

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    Spokesperson for Latvia's EU presidency said that the incoming Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on making Europe a more competitive, digital and engaged economy.

    MOSCOW, December 30 (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — The incoming Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on making Europe a more competitive, digital and engaged economy, the spokesperson for Latvia's EU presidency told Sputnik news agency on Tuesday.

    "The Latvian Presidency will focus on three overarching priorities: Competitive Europe, Digital Europe and Engaged Europe," Janis Berzins, spokesperson for Permanent Representation of Latvia to the European Union, said.

    Latvia is to take over the presidency from Italy on January 1, 2015.

    "Latvia will ensure that the Council does its part to facilitate achieving the ambitions set out in the June 2014 European Council Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change," Janis Berzins said adding that "Europe has to act wisely to return to economic growth, facilitate investment and deliver on jobs."

    The Latvian presidency begins during a period of slow growth and low inflation in the European Union. According to the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat, GDP growth in 2014 is likely to be 1.3 percent. Over the first few months of the Latvian presidency, inflation is expected to stay low and decrease to one percent in 2015.

    "The EU must seize digital opportunities, promote sustainable energy and environmental policies, and strengthen the Single Market and industrial sector," the spokesperson asserted, stressing that Europe should work "to ensure the safety of its citizens and to contribute to peace and prosperity within and beyond the EU's borders."

    Every six months an EU member state assumes the role of the rotating EU council presidency. The presidency's function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine the Council's agenda, and promote dialogue within the Council and with other EU institutions.

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