ABSTRACT. What happens to a country which suddenly is free to govern its own territory and people? What is their biggest fear? Is it the inability to satisfy its population or a threat from the former conqueror? A lot of decisions have to be made in a short amount of time as a result the implications might not always be considered carefully. Should a country opt for the ‘shock therapy’ or experience gradual changes? How to deal with the privatization of state-owned institutions? How important is being a member of international organizations? The paper objectively questions how the well-being of the nation has changed in 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the course of the country’s integration into the EU. The authoress also answers whether a small country like Latvia can actually preserve both its political and economic sovereignty. On a bigger scale, the findings suggest that the well-being in the Latvian SSR was better than it is today, while others strongly disagree. Furthermore, the authoress concludes that Latvia had to sacrifice its economical sovereignty in order to preserve its political independence. For a small country like Latvia, the EU is a platform where it can find like-minded countries and strive for economic and political stability. pp. 81–89


Keywords: Latvia, European Union, Soviet Union, political sovereignty, economic sovereignty, independence, human well-being, human development, Human Develop- ment Index 

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