Entering EU will promote Latvia's welfare and development
The influence on the national economics in Latvia already can be felt, even before entering the EU. Since negotiation of European contract in 1995, there has been an intensive integration process going on in Latvia - readjustments of legislation, increasing trade with the EU countries and big amount of investments has been received from foreign investors. If there would not be a movement towards the EU or NATO, the economical developments in Latvia would take place in much slower manner because it would be much harder for Latvian politicians and society to find harmony and agreements about the way and type of as non-candidate countries has been slow and unmotivated enough. Even though, many advantages of joining EU are currently noticeable, all Latvia' s privileges and opportunities will become more realistic and available only after joining the European Union.
The most important changes
If Latvia will become an EU member state in May 2004, it will be faced with such positive changes:
The decrease of trade expenses with EU member countries
The elimination of tariffs barriers
The implementation of EU tariff system in accordance to countries which are not members of EU
Latvian agriculture would be included in the EU common agriculture politics
The receival of EU financial tools
The amelioration of investment restrictions
The adjustments to EU jurisdiction, standards and requirements
The gradual movement of labor force freedom
The coordination of economical politics with EU member states and involvement in EU economical politics implementation
Few years after joining EU, Latvia will join EU zone, implement euro currency and will implement a single monetary policy
Before we say "yes" or "no" to these changes it is worth considering the future of Latvia. Latvia is a small country, with quite restricted local market and resources, as well as developmental means, which are not enough. Therefore, Latvia's economical development and welfare is directly dependent on outside trade, investments, possibility to be competitive and create products and services with high value-added proportions. At the same time, it has to be considered that approximately 80% of Latvia's outside trade transactions have been taking place mainly with EU member states and candidate countries. Along with joining EU, there are many questions which need to be considered: will joining EU increase Latvia's the international trade, competitiveness and investments? Will joining EU improve and develop the trade with the most important export market for Latvia - the EU? How joining EU, Latvia will be able to be competitive among other "soon-to-be" member states, such as Estonia or Lithuania? Will infrastructures, education and regional development have more financial resources after joining EU? And how expensive it will be for Latvia not to join the European Union? When...