On Wednesday 14 December, the Saeima gave a vote of confidence to the new Cabinet of Ministers – the second successive government led by Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.
Krišjānis Kariņš stressed in his address to the Saeima prior to the vote on the approval of the government: "The brutal war launched by Russia in Ukraine has fundamentally altered the global situation, including contributing to a rapid increase in energy prices, which has, in turn, led to a strong inflation. As a result, we are experiencing a slowdown in economic rates. We can describe these circumstances as a crisis while it can also be our opportunity. The new government and the Saeima should use this time to reorganize our economy and improve prosperity. In general, I call it a major transformation of the economy, provided that we focus on a single objective – work for the benefit of our people. The new government is determined to implement the programme that has been explained in more detail in the Declaration and continue its efforts to make our people’s lives better."
The new government or the 41th Cabinet of Ministers is composed of:
- Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš;
- Minister for Defence Ināra Mūrniece;
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs;
- Minister for Economics Ilze Indriksone;
- Minister for the Interior Māris Kučinskis;
- Minister for Finance Arvils Ašeradens;
- Minister for Education and Science Anda Čakša;
- Minister for Climate and Energy Raimonds Čudars;
- Minister for Culture Nauris Puntulis;
- Minister for Welfare Evika Siliņa;
- Minister for Transport Jānis Vitenbergs;
- Minister for Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere;
- Minister for Health Līga Meņģelsone;
- Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Māris Sprindžuks;
- Minister for Agriculture Didzis Šmits.
The following political parties are represented in the government: the New Unity, the United List, and the National Alliance.
The government forming parties have agreed on the further lines of action. The Declaration refers to the following priorities: national security and foreign policy, education, energy, climate and environment, competitiveness and improving the quality of life.
According to the Declaration, a safe environment is essential for the implementation of a number of priorities and overall development of the country: the aggressive behaviour of Latvia's neighbouring country Russia in Ukraine and this year's events have made this aspect particularly topical. Therefore, one of the most important tasks of the Latvian government will be to strengthen confidence in both citizens and investors that Latvia is a safe country governed by the rule of law where to live and develop business. Latvia's foreign policy will further have a strong western geopolitical orientation and will contribute to the preservation and development of a rules-based system of international order and cooperation. It is also planned to take an active part in the NATO collective defence system and to expand the presence of NATO forces in Latvia, as well as to develop the capacity of the National Armed Forces and the National Guard. The government will pursue its work on the implementation of the National Security Concept and National Defence Concept and will strengthen national cyber security, improve the crisis management system, continue the fight against corruption and strengthen the overall capacity of home affair services.
It is also planned to make significant investments to ensure high-quality and accessible education, which will stabilize the transformation of the country's economy. As specified in the Declaration, by strengthening the field of higher education and science, Latvia will be able to increase exports with high added value, while also raising national human capital.
According to the Declaration, energy is another area contributing to economic transformation. Ensuring sufficient, predictable and economically competitive supply of heat and electricity will also stimulate the national economy. The use of renewable energy sources will play an important role in these processes. It will not only contribute to economic development but also to the achievement of climate policy objectives.
Improving competitiveness is also among the government's priorities. The new government plans to enhance high value-added investment in Latvia – to refocus the railway system and the potential of ports, and develop agriculture and forestry. Capacity must also be increased in the economic development of new municipal centres and the shadow economy should be eliminated in the country.
Equal attention is given to improving the life quality, human and public health. As mentioned in the Declaration, the remedy of these areas will also help to ensure sustainable economic transformation, which in turn will contribute to the development of the country as a whole. Accordingly, the new government's commitment is to strengthen the rule of law, the quality of health care, the culture and welfare system by putting people at the centre of efficient services.