He notes that the two parties’ presence is clear in the declaration’s external policy section. «The 59th point is a clear example of this. It is noted there that the European Union is a strong community of national countries. It is mentioned further down – ‘to defend national interests, we will support EU’s political and economic unity and efficiency; further improve external, security, energy and single market policy and Eurozone’s stability’ Nowhere do we see any mention of the word “integration”,» – said Skudra, adding that he does not understand why integration is not tied to at least Eurozone.
«No mention of the single market, singe economic space or single digital market in the declaration. With that, it can be concluded that it is basically no more than a trade association of national countries. This part clearly has the typical signature of NA,» – said the professor.
UGF’s presence is felt in the declaration’s 66th point, in which it is stated that Latvia will contribute to the political settlement of the conflict caused by Russia in Ukraine by supporting a united and consequent EU policy in relations with Russia in order to accomplish compliance with international rights by Russia. «Nothing is said about Minsk agreement or any other treaty. All this is a little bit strange, even the part about compliance with international rights by Russia. What does this mean? Does it mean the EU will not comply with them?» – said Skudra.
The professor also pointed to the new government’s resolution to continue a policy of non-recognition of the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula. «Why UGF’s handwriting is here, you ask? Because the word “Illegal” does not mean contrary to international law. It is not the same thing,» – Skudra emphasized.
He also mentioned that UGF’s and NA’s handwriting is clear in points that apply to migration policy. «It is mentioned in the declaration that the government will work on settling the long-term causes of the migration crisis to halt the influx of illegal immigrants and also create a single and effective return mechanism for people who do not qualify for international protection and who do not have any legal basis to remain in the EU,» – said the professor, criticizing the fact that no actual causes are mentioned in the declaration.
«This is terrible. What causes do they plan to resolve if they do not even mention them?» – asked the professor. He also noted that the 89th point of the declaration states that Latvia will only support a position that allows EU member states voluntarily accept asylum seekers. «This basically means what UGF and NA want – the right not to accept refugees,» – explained Skudra.
Skudra does welcome the entry in the declaration about NATO, plans to increase defence funding, strategic cooperation with USA and what is mentioned in the culture section. He also mentioned that he likes that the declaration mentions the population ageing problem and emigration of Latvian residents, which was not the case with the declaration of Laimdota Straujuma’s government.
When asked if the new government’s declaration has more positive points that that of the previous government, the professor said this will not be a new government. With that, no particularly new points and focuses can be found there. «It is basically a reorganized government. The only new things about it are the prime minister and several ministers. We see the same political parties and games around government seats. It is not a new government,» – said Skudra.
«Expecting a new policy from a reorganized government is absurd,» – said Skudra.