Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, Latvia, established in 1918 is a democratic parliamentary republic. Latvian is the official language. The capital city is Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014.
Latvia is a Schengen Country. The Schengen Area includes 26 European countries which have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. It mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement. Countries in the Schengen Area have eliminated border controls with the other Schengen members and strengthened border controls with non-Schengen states. 22/28 European Union (EU) member states participate in the Schengen Area. Of the 6 European Union members that are not part of the Schengen Area, four – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania – are legally obliged and wish to join the area, while the other two – the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom – maintain opt-outs. The four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements on association with the Schengen Agreement. Three European microstates – Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City – can be considered de facto participants.