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  Riga today / Riga in the world / Representation of Riga’s interests in Brussels  

Representation of Riga’s interests in Brussels

Throughout the time the role of regional and domestic municipalities in the European Union administration has gotten more important – European Commission and other EU institutions engage in a dialogue not only with national governments, but also listen to the opinion of regional partners on prospective political documents and support instruments.
Today more than 300 cities and regions have opened their representative offices in Brussels; in 2004 the city of Riga and the regions have also joined this board. Right now Brussels is the second most influential lobbying center in the world after Washington, D.C., and around 15 000 registered groups of interest are active in that center. Representative offices of cities and regions is one of the groups of interest and they are working alongside with representative offices of industries, social groups, and the like.
The goal of the Riga representative office is to promote international cooperation priorities of Riga, organizing the work in three most important areas:
Construction of city image
• Riga as a professional cooperation partner of the EU institutions and European regions
• Riga as an experienced city in the most important areas of development
• Riga as an attractive destination for conferences, large-scale events and tourism

EU projects and foundations
• Awareness on available EU financing (community programs)
• Cooperation possibilities with other regions, partners for Riga projects
• Awareness of Brussels’ partners on projects of Riga and their results
• Support in the implementation of international projects

Politics and interest representation
• Latest information about the EU legislation and support instruments in Riga’s priority interest areas
• Channeling the opinion of Riga on EU policies to decision makers
The representative office of Riga’s interests in Brussels is coordinated by the Riga City Council advisor in international cooperation affairs in the EU, Inga Barisa.
Information about latest events in Riga Urban Planning Regional Administration and other organizations working in different political areas is summarized on a daily basis. Daily affairs also include searching for possibilities to receive EU funding, searching for cooperation partners in Riga’s projects in Europe, organizing different events, participating in various activities and events of cooperation networks. One of the most important working tools in Brussels is contacts, which is why a crucial part of everyday work is building cooperation networks.
Other organizations representing Latvia are also working in Brussels, and Riga’s representative office in the EU is cooperating closely with them:
• Representation of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments in the EU (www.lps.lv), which takes care of interest protection of the municipalities of Latvia in the process of the EU legislation making;
• Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the EU (www.mfa.gov.lv/lv/brussels) – represents the interests of the Republic of Latvia in the EU Council committees and working groups;
• Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Luxembourg (www.am.gov.lv/lv/belgium), which provides consular services and strengthens bilateral relations between Latvia and Belgium and Luxembourg.
Riga City Council representative can be contacted via telephone at +371 25608262 or via e-mail: inga.barisa@riga.lv or eu@riga.lv

You are welcome to visit the representative office in Belgium:
Square De Meeus 1, (4th floor) B-1000, Brussels, Belgium

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