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On Tuesday, 20 March, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Saeima decided to submit the proposed amendments to the Satversme (Constitution) for parliament’s consideration. The amendments are intended to limit the scope of MPs’ immunity and to revoke the secret ballot procedure for electing the President of Latvia and judges of the Constitutional Court.
On Friday, 16 March, the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima expressed its support for the initiative of Latvian ministers to consider at various meetings of the Council of the European Union (EU) the issue of Russia’s ban on importing live cattle and pigs from the EU, a move that will have a negative impact on our farmers.
On Thursday, 15 March, the Saeima in the final reading adopted amendments to the Civil Procedure Law according to which courts of cassation will adjudicate civil matters in written proceedings if a decision can be taken on the basis of available materials regarding the case. The amendments will help to reduce the workload of courts, as well as the time needed for adjudicating cases.
On Thursday, 15 March, the Saeima adopted in the final reading amendments to the Law on Submissions. The amendments provide that as of 1 September 2012 inhabitants will be able to contact state and municipal institutions through the centralised state and municipal services portal www.latvija.lv and thus participate in public governance more efficiently.
On Friday, 9 March, members of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania met in Ventspils for a parliamentary seminar of the Baltic Assembly (BA) to discuss the creation of a single cooperation platform of the Baltic States for developing research, technologies and innovations.
On Thursday, 8 March, the Saeima supported in the first reading the draft law whereby Latvia is to ratify amendments to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU), or the so-called Lisbon Treaty. The amendments establish the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) for the purpose of ensuring financial stability of the euro area.
On Thursday, 1 March, in the first reading, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Taxes and Duties, which envisaged several kinds of relief and other advantages for entrepreneurs who conscientiously fulfil their responsibilities to the state.
On Tuesday, 6 March, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, during her official visit to Japan met with Yukio Edano, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and emphasised that active and close political cooperation between Latvia and Japan is a solid basis for bilateral economic collaboration which has great untapped potential.
On Monday, 5 March, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, during her official visit to Japan met with Kenji Hirata, President of the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan, and Takahiro Yokomichi, President of the House of Representatives of the National Diet of Japan, and emphasised that although Latvia and Japan are geographically distant countries, they have established very successful political dialogue, which is a good basis for joint projects in the sphere of culture and closer economic cooperation.
On Friday, 2 March, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. During the meeting, the Speaker pointed out that the previous day’s decision of the European Council to grant Serbia the status of an official candidate to the European Union (EU) was significant not only for the Balkans but for all of Europe.