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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission opinion [COM(97) 2005 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission report [COM(98) 704 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission report [COM(99) 506 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission report [COM(2000) 706 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC (2001) 1749 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission report [COM(2000) 700 final - SEC (2002) 1045]Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its July 1997 opinion, the European Commission took the view that, where agricultural policy was concerned, Latvia had to make substantial efforts to align its legislation with the Community acquis, although progress had been made in adopting the measures mentioned in the White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the internal market. The Commission sought particular efforts in relation to:

  • implementing and enforcing veterinary and phytosanitary requirements and upgrading establishments to meet EC standards; this is particularly important for the inspection and control arrangements at EU external borders;
  • strengthening administrative structures to ensure the necessary capacity to implement and enforce the policy instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP);
  • further restructuring the food sector to improve its competitiveness.

The Commission also noted that Latvia applied only a limited number of the mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy, that fundamental reform of agricultural policy would be needed, and a substantial effort would be necessary to prepare for accession to the EU in the medium term.

Turning to fisheries, the Commission said that the process of modernisation and acquis implementation would require significant efforts, but that the sector was unlikely to pose problems in the medium term.

The November 1998 report noted that, where agricultural policy was concerned, progress had been made in all the areas listed in the Opinion (and mentioned above), as well as in the approximation of legislation, as the partnership for accession requires. Latvia has also made progress on fisheries, especially through the adoption of specific programmes.

The October 1999 report highlighted the substantial progress made in the privatisation of farming land. In the other areas (legislative alignment, implementing veterinary and plant-health standards, expanding administrative capacity and restructuring the agri-food sector), there was still much ground to make up. In fisheries, Latvia must sustain its efforts to make its fleet more competitive and comply with the common fisheries policy.

The November 2000 report showed Latvia had made progress in aligning its farming laws with EU legislation. In the fisheries sector, despite some good results, more work was needed.

According to the November 2001 report, no major reforms of Latvian farming policy had been undertaken in the period in question. However, some progress had been made in the phytosanitary and veterinary sectors.

In fisheries, efforts to align domestic legislation with EU rules had proceeded apace. One example was the adoption in 2001 of a regulation governing supervision of landings and sales of catches, transport of fishery products and storage and production premises. In addition, greater resources were being channelled into fisheries administration, with the Marine Environmental Board being strengthened and controls stepped up. A law on measuring fishing vessels was also adopted, and a fishing fleet register created at the National Fisheries Board. Finally, no change was noted in the government's policy of subsidies for the fishing industry.

The October 2002 report stressed that Latvia's efforts were continuing in agriculture. As regards fisheries the main focus was the management of resources, inspection and control.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) aims to maintain and develop a modern agricultural system ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community and a supply of food at reasonable prices for consumers, as well as free movement of goods within the EC.

The Europe Agreement which provides the legal basis for agricultural trade between Latvia and the Community aims to promote cooperation on modernising, restructuring and privatising Latvia's agriculture sector and agri-food industry and its plant health standards. The 1995 White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Internal Market covers legislation in the fields of veterinary, plant health and animal nutrition controls, as well as marketing requirements for individual commodities. The purpose of such legislation is to protect consumers, public health and the health of animals and plants.

The Common Fisheries Policy includes common market organisations, structural policy, agreements concluded with non-member countries, the management and conservation of fishery resources and scientific research in support of these activities.

The Europe Agreement includes provisions on trade in fishery products with the Community. The White Paper does not include measures in this field.



Farming's share of Latvia's gross value added rose to 4.7% in 2001 while it accounted for 15.1% of total employment. Latvia's trade surplus with the EU in agricultural products rose from 151.6 million in 1999 to 193.2 million in 2000. The administrative budget for farming stands at 40.07 million.

  • General issuesThe paying agency should soon be in place. Work still needs to be done on the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), organic farming and quality policy.
  • Market-organisation regimesLatvia still has to prepare legislation in some sectors and adapt it in others. The rural aid service is not yet fully operational.
  • Rural development and forestryLatvia needs to continue implementing the rural development programme. Progress on agrarian reform is too slow.
  • Veterinary and phytosanitary measures, including food safetyThe transposition and implementation of legislation needs to speed up.On animal welfare the alignment is practically complete. Further efforts will have to be made on animal health, inspection at borders and in particular participation in the ANIMO programme, protection of public health and animal waste treatment. Latvia also has to incorporate the legislation on animal feed.As regards plant health transposition and implementation are well advanced, even if progress still needs to be made on seeds and the registration of importers and producers. Administrative changes are also needed, together with work on applying control procedures at borders.On food safety significant progress has been made. Some administrative reorganisation is necessary.

Since the 1997 opinion Latvia has made progress. Negotiations are continuing. It above all needs to align itself permanently to the acquis and reinforce its administrative capacity.


Latvia needs to complete the alignment of structural measures and market policy. It also has to reinforce its administrative capacity.

Since the 1997 opinion progress has been made and Latvia has met some of its commitments. Sprat has been included in the list of species governed by the common fisheries policy, and special management arrangements have been made for the Gulf of Riga.

Last updated: 14.01.2003

Last updated: 14.01.2003