Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis’ Union of Greens and Farmers has no reason to sign a cooperation agreement with any of the larger European political groups. Instead the party should focus on internal politics and listen less to ‘the big smarts from the European Union’, believes MEP Iveta Grigule, who represents the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
LTV had previously reported that Kucinskis’ UGF has not signed any cooperation agreements with any of the political groups represented in the European Parliament. Because of that, Kucinskis will have to do without any associates in the European Council. Prior to every meeting of the European Council, leaders of member states also carry out informal meetings in order to coordinate their positions, seek support and harmonize opinions. The two previous prime ministers of Latvia – Laimdota Straujuma and Valdis Dombrovskis – were part of the European People’s Party.
Commenting on this situation, Grigule said she sees no problems and no reasons why UGF should join any of the European political groups. She mentioned wider space for maneuvers to those not tied to other parties.
«For example, Hungary’s prime minister had to come to EPP to explain certain decisions his government had made. I don’t think he enjoyed being scolded very much,» – added the politician.
«What is the difference between one or another European party? Kucinskis should think more about Latvia’s interests and provide a sustainable internal policy, not listen to the big thinkers from Europe. If he wants to go there as some errand boy and explain his every step, it is his right. But there are also many benefits from not joining as well,» – she said.
The politician also said joining any European party would not bring about more money from European funds. «It is foolish. There is nothing to gain from it but talk,» – she said.
Artis Pabriks from Unity said Kucinskis membership in the European People’s Party would be very beneficial. «This is one of the examples of provincial thinking of Latvian parties. They still believe in the 15-year-old stereotype of having nothing to do with European parties,» – said the politician.
When asked if there are any obstacles put in the way of joining EPP, the politician admitted being cautious. He did say that there are no insurmountable obstacles. «Everything depends on discussions,» – he added.
Pabriks’ colleague, MEP Inese Vaidere said UGF has a representative in one of the large European parties – MEP Iveta Grigule is a member of the liberals group. «But we can still discuss the matter of joining EPP,» – said the politicial, adding that this would require discussions in Latvia and with members of EPP.
Kucinskis had previously said that he intends to search for political associates: «I could extend my own proposal in regards to cooperating with EPP, because their policy complies with what we need to realize in Latvia.»
As a member of EPP, Unity has the right of veto when it comes to accepting new members.