Latvia joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and has been a member of the Schengen area since 21 December 2007. It became a member of the Euro area on 1 January 2014.
Latvia is a parliamentary republic with a head of government - the Prime Minister - who chooses the council of ministers and a head of state - the President - who has a largely ceremonial role and nominates the Prime Minister.
The government is subject to Parliament's approval throughout each term.
The country is subdivided into 110 one-level municipalities and 9 cities. These each have their own city councils and municipal administrations.
There are 8 Members of the European Parliament from Latvia.