A member of the New Unity Party, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has served as prime minister since January 2019. Previously, he served as deputy in the Saeima, minister of economics, and a member of the European Parliament. He was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to parents who fled Latvia during World War II and the Soviet occupation; while living in the US, he obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2009, he was elected to the European Parliament, where he served as MEP for almost ten years. During this time, he was an active MEP working on anti-money laundering (AML) and energy policy issues.
After the EU Elections in May 2019, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš was nominated as one of the six EU Prime Ministers to direct the discussions on filling the European Commission’s presidency and nearly all of the EU’s top jobs. He represents the European People’s Party in these negotiations.
Latvia is a key member of NATO and the European Union, a vocal advocate of further European integration and has repeatedly proved its commitment to a strong transatlantic alliance. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņšwill provides an overview of the current US-Latvian relationship, areas for deeper transatlantic cooperation, and political developments in the EU. His opening comments are followed by a moderated armchair discussion and an open Q&A.