Saeima and NGO forum on Involvement, Sustainability, Innovations
on 19 May 2014
On Monday, 19 May, the Saeima and NGO forum on was held in the main building of the Saeima.
The forum was opened by Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, and Dace Akule, Director of the Centre for Public Policy Providus.
The forum consisted of three parallel working sessions. The first session was dedicated to the NGO activities and civic dialogue at the local and European level. It was co-moderated by Sergejs Dolgopolovs, Chairman of the Public Administration and Local Government Committee of the Saeima; Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima; Aldis Austers, Chairman of the European Latvian Association; and Andris Gobiņš, President of the European Movement – Latvia and member of the European Economic and Social Committee.
During the first working session, the participants discussed issues such as Latvia’s strengths and weaknesses in civic involvement, best practices from the European Union and its member states in developing and supporting civic dialogue, inter alia in the context of Latvia’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as possible changes in Latvian national laws and regulations aimed at promoting civic dialogue.
The second session focused on self-organisation as the driving force of growth within the community. The session was co-moderated by Jānis Ozoliņš, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee of the Saeima; Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Chairperson of the Education, Science and Culture Committee of the Saeima; and Āris Ādlers, expert in civic involvement representing the Latvian Rural Forum.
The third working session of the forum was dedicated to participation of NGOs in promoting social change, including social entrepreneurship, de-institutionalisation policy and involvement opportunities for NGOs. This session was co-moderated by Aija Barča, Chairperson of the Social and Employment Matters Committee of the Saeima, and Andris Bērziņš, Director of the Samaritan Association of Latvia.
The afternoon was devoted to reports summarising the ideas and views exchanged during the three working sessions.
Since the Saeima adopted in 2006 the declaration establishing the basic principles, tasks and development of cooperation with the NGO sector, this forum has become an annual tradition. This was the 8th Saeima and NGO forum.