In conversation with communities, the need to create open local governments is emphasised

This week, the first two online conversations of the Civic Alliance - Latvia (CAL) “With today's experience for more active public participation tomorrow” took place, bringing together the residents of Kurzeme and Latgale regions. Although face-to-face meetings cannot be compared to communication in a digital environment, the interlocutors actively participated through various modern digital platforms and solutions for expressing their views.

In the course of the negotiations, we seek to obtain information from the communities on public participation, namely, how is the experience so far evaluated, examples of good practice that need to be improved, what are the most effective tools for public involvement? As mentioned by several participants, one of the most important conditions for successful public participation is simple and understandable communication in order to be clear about what current processes it is possible to get involved in, where, in what way, as well as how to receive feedback on the decisions made.

The evaluations of these and further negotiations on the current practice, proposals for improvement and opinions will be compiled and published by CAL, and on the basis of them, CAL will provide feedback and express its opinion in negotiations with the decision-makers. 

Conversations with the residents of Vidzeme, Riga and Zemgale region will continue this week.

Context. 2020 is marked by intensive policy planning for the next seven years, while the work on administrative-territorial reform has been completed. Therefore, work has begun on the development of new laws and policy guidelines and plans, which in turn marks changes in public participation processes. As civil society now has and will have the opportunity to participate in commenting on regulatory enactments and new concepts, with the aim of improving and developing them based on the needs of end consumers - citizens, the Civic Alliance - Latvia wants to identify the current experience of public representatives in participation at the municipal and national level, as well as to clarify the vision of currently conceptually different issues.

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The event is organized by the Civic Alliance - Latvia in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office in the Baltic States.