Artis Pabriks

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Artis Pabriks
Artis Pabriks saeima.jpg
Member of the European Parliament for Latvia
In office
1 July 2014 – present
Minister for Defence of Latvia
In office
3 November 2010 – 22 January 2014
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis
Preceded by Imants Lieģis
Succeeded by Raimonds Vējonis
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia
In office
21 July 2004 – 28 October 2007
Prime Minister
Preceded by Rihards Pīks
Succeeded by Māris Riekstiņš
Personal details
Born (1966-03-22) 22 March 1966 (age 51)
Jūrmala, Latvian SSR
Nationality Latvian
Political party People's Party (1998–2007)
Society for Political Change (2008–2011)
Unity (2011–present)
Alma mater

Artis Pabriks (born 22 March 1966) is a Latvian politician and a Member of the European Parliament.

Early life and career[edit]

After completing his mandatory two-year stint in the Soviet Army,[1] 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.[4]

Political career[edit]

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[edit]

Pabriks was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on July 21, 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 Boğaziçi University in Istanbul lecturing for the first semester of the 2009-2010 academic year.

Minister of Defence, 2010–2014[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6]

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–present[edit]

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.[7][8]

In 2016, Pabriks was the Parliament’s lead negotiator on a proposal to set up a new EU border force and coast guard.[9]

Other activities[edit]

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

Personal life[edit]

Pabriks has a daughter from a previous marriage and two children from his wife Undine, an ethnic German.[10]


External links[edit]