Artis Pabriks

Artis Pabriks (born 22 March 1966) is a Latvian politician. Since January 2019 he has been the minister of defence and deputy prime minister of Latvia. From 2014 to 2018, he was a Member of the European Parliament.

Artis Pabriks
Artis Pabriks 2018 (cropped)
Minister for Defence of Latvia
Assumed office
23 January 2019
Prime MinisterArturs Krišjānis Kariņš
Preceded byRaimonds Bergmanis
In office
3 November 2010 – 22 January 2014
Prime MinisterValdis Dombrovskis
Preceded byImants Lieģis
Succeeded byRaimonds Vējonis
Member of the European Parliament for Latvia
In office
1 July 2014 – 5 November 2018
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia
In office
21 July 2004 – 28 October 2007
Prime Minister
Preceded byRihards Pīks
Succeeded byMāris Riekstiņš
Personal details
Born22 March 1966 (age 53)
Jūrmala, Latvian SSR
Political partyPeople's Party (1998–2007)
Society for Political Change (2008–2011)
Unity (2011–2018)
Movement For! (2018–present)[1]
Alma mater

Early life and career

After completing his mandatory two-year stint in the Soviet Army, Pabriks obtained a degree in history from the University of Latvia in 1992 and, on a Danish-financed grant,[2] completed his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Aarhus in 1996. After finishing his Ph.D. on minorities in Europe,[3] he became the rector of the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, a newly founded regional college located in Valmiera. He has co-authored one book: Latvia: Challenge of Change (2001), which was subsequently re-published together with volumes on Lithuania and Estonia under the title The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (2002). Both were published by Routledge.

Pabriks speaks fluent Latvian, Russian, and English, as well as some German and Danish.[2]

Political career

Pabriks was one of the founding members of the People's Party in 1998 and became a member of the Saeima in March 2004. He served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2004–2007

Pabriks was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on 21 July 2004. He resigned from his position in October 2007 due to disagreements with the leadership of the People's Party, which he subsequently left.

In September 2008, Pabriks was one of founding members of the Society for Political Change. He was a visiting professor at Bosphorus University in Istanbul lecturing for the first semester of the 2009-2010 academic year.

Minister of Defence, 2010–2014 News Photo 110413-D-WQ296-016 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates escorts Latvian Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks left through an honor cordon and into the Pentagon for
In April 2011, Pabriks met with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon.

After the 2010 parliamentary election, Pabriks re-entered the government as the Minister of Defence.

In 2010 Pabriks challenged the incumbent general secretary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Spencer Oliver for his position. Pabriks, supported by the Latvian delegation, called the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s rules "quite shocking from the perspective of an organization that's monitoring elections". It would have required a full consensus minus one to oust Oliver who has been in the position of general secretary since the organization’s inception in 1992. Pabriks was unsuccessful in his challenge.[4]

In early 2014, Pabriks was Unity’s first nominee to replace incumbent Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis; however, he was rejected by President Andris Bērziņš who argued that he lacked economic credentials. Instead, the position went to Laimdota Straujuma.[5]

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–2018

Pabriks was elected to the European Parliament at the European election in 2014. He has since been serving on the Committee on International Trade. In this capacity, he is the Parliament’s chief rapporteur on EU-Canada trade agreement CETA. In addition to his committee assignments, he is a member of the Parliament’s delegations to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and for relations with the countries of Central America.

In 2015, news media reported that Pabriks was included in a Russian blacklist of prominent people from the European Union who are not allowed to enter the country.[6][7]

In 2016, Pabriks was the Parliament’s lead negotiator on a proposal to set up a new EU border force and coast guard.[8]

Leader of Development/For! and Minister of Defence, since 2018

U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Attends NATO Defense Ministerial DVIDS5103208
In February 2019, Pabriks greets U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

In June 2018 Pabriks left the Unity party and joined the liberal movement Development/For!. He was nominated as prime minister candidate of this electoral alliance and was elected member of the Saeima in the 2018 parliamentary election. Since January 2019 he has served as minister of defence and deputy prime minister in Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš's cabinet.

Other activities

  • Baltic Review, Member of the Editorial Board (since 2002)

Personal life

Pabriks has a daughter from a previous marriage and two children from his wife Undine, an ethnic German.[2]


  1. ^ "Prominent MEP switches parties ahead of election". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Gary Peach (October 23, 2013), Artis Pabriks – Tolerant fighter European Voice.
  3. ^ Alison Smale (August 23, 2014), Latvia’s Tensions With Russians at Home Persist in Shadow of Ukraine Conflict The New York Times.
  4. ^ An election in Copenhagen
  5. ^ Andrew Gardner (January 8, 2014), Latvia poised to gain its first female prime minister European Voice.
  6. ^ Laurence Norman (May 30, 2015), Russia Produces Blacklist of EU People Banned From Entering Country The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ European Union anger at Russian travel blacklist BBC News, May 31, 2015.
  8. ^ Jacopo Barigazzi (June 22, 2016), Parliament and Council agree on the EU border, coast guard Politico Europe.

External links

2014 European Parliament election in Latvia

The European Parliament election 2014 in Latvia was the election of the delegation from Latvia to the European Parliament in 2014.

2018 Latvian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Latvia on 6 October 2018.

2022 Latvian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections will be held in Latvia in 2022, following the end of the term of the Saeima elected in 2018.

First Kalvītis cabinet

The first Kalvītis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 2 December 2004 to 7 November 2006. It was the first government to be led by Aigars Kalvītis, who was Prime Minister from 2004 to 2007. It took office on 2 December 2004, after the resignation of Indulis Emsis, succeeding the Emsis cabinet, which had lasted from March to December 2004. It was replaced by the second Kalvītis cabinet on 7 November 2006, after the October 2006 election.

Friends of Turkey in the European Parliament

In March 2010, members from the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and ECR groups founded the “Friends of Turkey” group in the European Parliament. Seventy-seven MEPs joined and were active members during the 7th legislative term (2009-2014). Alojz Peterle (EPP) was elected as chairman of the group.

In September 2014, the group was successfully re-launched. Artis Pabriks (EPP) and Ismail Ertug (S&D) became the new co-chairs.

The main objective of the informal group is to closely monitor EU accession negotiations with Turkey from a critical but constructive approach. Friends of Turkey is conceived as a platform for discussion where MEPs can contribute to the improvement of EU-Turkey relations.

As a cross-party informal group, Friends of Turkey has successfully positioned itself at the core of the debate on EU-Turkey negotiations. The group organizes formal and informal meetings with European and Turkish officials and it has served as a platform for high-level discussions including all the different actors involved in EU-Turkey relations.

Laura Batalla Adam is the current Secretary General of the group.

Government of Latvia

The Government of Latvia is the central government of the Republic of Latvia. The Constitution of Latvia (Satversme) outlines the nation as a parliamentary republic represented by a unicameral parliament (Saeima) and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republikas Ministru kabinets), which form the executive branch of the Government of Latvia.

Since the early 2000s cabinet meetings in Latvia have been open to the public. In June 2013, the Latvian government became one of the first in Europe to offer live internet broadcasts of cabinet meetings.

Janis Kazocins

Janis Kazocins OBE (Latvian: Jānis Kažociņš; born 11 May 1951, Peterborough, United Kingdom) - former British Army Brigadier and Latvian spy agency director.

In 1972 Kazocins received a bachelor's degree in philosophy at the University of Nottingham. In 1973 he graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Kazocins served in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. He participated in the planning of the first war with Iraq (1990-1991). Kazocins was made an officer of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire in 1991. Between 1994 and 1995 Kazocins was based in Riga,as the first British military attaché to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Kazocins was seconded to Latvia's defense forces from 1995 to 1997 and retired from the British Army in 2002.Kazocins became a Latvian citizen in 2003. From 2003 to May 2013 Kazocins was director of the Constitution Protection Bureau, Latvia's security service (in Latvian, "Satversmes aizsardzības birojs"). In 2013 he was awarded Latvia's Cross of Recognition. From June 2013 Kazocins was an adviser to Defense Minister Artis Pabriks on international security and information technology. In December 2013 Kazocins was appointed to lead the Public Commission for the assessment of the tragedy in Zolitūde, but on December 18 resigned from the Commission.

Kosovo–Latvia relations

Kosovan–Latvian relations are foreign relations between Kosovo and Latvia. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008 and Latvia recognised it on 20 February 2008. Latvian and Kosovan governments established diplomatic relations on 11 June 2008. However, Latvia's involvement in Kosovo dates back to 2000 when it first sent peacekeeping troops.

List of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Latvia

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Latvia is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is charged with being the architect Latvian foreign policy and carrying out diplomatic orders by the President of Latvia. The position was re-established in May 1990 following the declaration of the country's independence from the USSR. Since October 2011, the position has been held by Edgars Rinkēvičs.

List of Ministers of Defence of Latvia

The Defence Minister of the Republic of Latvia is the head of the Ministry of Defence, who is charged with the political leadership of the Latvian National Armed Forces. The position was re-established in November 1991 following the declaration of the country's independence from the USSR. Since July 2015, the position has been held by Raimonds Bergmanis.

List of members of the European Parliament for Latvia, 2014–19

This is a list of Members of the European Parliament for Latvia for the 2014-2019 Parliament.

See European Parliament election, 2014 (Latvia) for further information on these elections in Latvia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvia)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvian: Latvijas Republikas Ārlietu ministrija) is responsible for maintaining the Republic of Latvia's external relations and the management of its international diplomatic missions. The actual Minister of Foreign Affairs is Edgars Rinkēvičs, a member of the Unity Party and former State Secretary within Latvia's Ministry of Defence.

Raimonds Bergmanis

Raimonds Bergmanis (born 25 July 1966) is a Latvian politician and former Minister of Defence. He is a former Olympic weightlifter and retired strongman competitor.

Raimonds Vējonis

Raimonds Vējonis (born 15 June 1966) is the current President of Latvia, He has been in office since 2015. He is a member of the Green Party, part of the Union of Greens and Farmers. He served as Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in 2002 and in 2011 and as Minister of the Environment from 2003 to 2011, while the Ministry of Regional Development was a separate department. He became Minister of Defence of Latvia in 2014 and held that office until becoming President in 2015.

Second Dombrovskis cabinet

The second Dombrovskis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 3 November 2010 to 25 October 2011. It was the second government to be led by Valdis Dombrovskis, who was Prime Minister between 2009 and 2014. It took office on 3 November 2010, after the October 2010 election, succeeding the first Dombrovskis cabinet, which had lasted from 2009 to 2010. It was replaced by the third Dombrovskis cabinet on 25 October 2011, after the September 2011 election.

Second Kalvītis cabinet

The second Kalvītis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 7 November 2006 to 20 December 2007. It was the second government to be led by Aigars Kalvītis, who had previously been Prime Minister since 2004. It took office on 7 November 2006, after the October 2006 election, succeeding the first Kalvītis cabinet, which had lasted from 2004 to 2006. It was replaced by the second Godmanis cabinet on 20 December 2007, after the resignation of Kalvītis.

Society for Political Change

The Society for Political Change (Latvian: Sabiedrība Citai Politikai, SCP) was a social-liberal political party in Latvia founded on 6 September 2008. Its members include two former ministers, former foreign minister Artis Pabriks and former economics minister Aigars Štokenbergs; its first president was economist Gatis Kokins.The SCP ran as part of the Unity rainbow party alliance in the 2010 parliamentary election to the Saeima. The party won six seats, out of the list's total of 33. After the election, the SCP demanded that the right-wing National Alliance, which includes previous coalition partners For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK, be excluded from the new government, which included Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers.On 6 August 2011, it merged with two other parties to form the new political party Unity.

Third Dombrovskis cabinet

The third Dombrovskis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 25 October 2011 to 22 January 2014. It was the third government to be led by Valdis Dombrovskis who was Prime Minister from 2009 until 2014. It took office after the September 2011 election, succeeding the second Dombrovskis cabinet, which had lasted from 2010 to 2011.

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