CAL calls on MoD to involve the civil society sector in further developing of the National Defence Concept

On 9 September, Artis Zaļūksnis, Policy Coordinator of the Civic Alliance - Latvia, participated at a remote meeting of the Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee, where the National Defence Concept was discussed.

A.Zaļūksnis drew attention of the Committee members, noting that during the preparation of the concept high-quality public participation was not ensured and called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to involve the CSO sector in the further process of developing documents related to the concept.

A. Zaļūksnis also expressed the opinion that the participation of the society and CSOs is even more important at present, since CSOs can make a great contribution to the development of value orientations and the formation of social sustainability with strong local communities.

At the end of the meeting, A.Zaļūksnis drew attention to the need to implement a purposeful civil society development policy, allocating permanent state budget funding to strengthen the capacity of civil society, as well as creating preconditions for a cooperation platform or system.

The activity of the CSO sector was positively assessed, responding to MoD calls for cooperation, as well as participating in various simulations, which form an understanding not only for CSOs, but also the role and involvement of public administration and the private sector in crisis situations. On September 4, a table-top simulation exercise organised by MoD for CSOs took place, which was based on the information contained in the informative report “On the Implementation of a Comprehensive National Defence System in Latvia”. Conclusions, which arose after the simulation, in which CAL employees also participated, were presented at the meeting of the Saeima committee:

  • There is a need for preparedness and closer cooperation with public authorities (especially for obtaining information);
  • Encourage all municipalities to involve CSOs and other actors, such as churches, businessmen, in the development of civil protection plans, where the MoD also plays an important role;
  • The concept lacks the role of CSOs in a broader sense (currently as a policy maker).