Task of the science is to serve
people.

– Tolstoy –

Science is the captain, and
practice the soldiers.

– Leonardo da Vinci –

Frontiers of science are like the
horizon: the more we approach
it, the more it moves away.

– Boiste –

The fantasy is more important
than knowing.

– Albert Einstein –

Science – it means organized
knowledge.

– Spencer –

Freedom for the science the
same as the air for a living soul.

– Poincaré –

Research area of all sciences is
endless.

– Pascal –

System of science must be
looked at as the system of
nature: all in it is endless and
necessary.

– Cuvier –

Scientific plan without working
hypothesis is a skeleton without
living body.

– Hirschfeld-

The main research subject of
mankind is the human.

– Goethe –

All is important in science.

– Heine –

Books must be results of
sciences, but sciences not results
of books.

– Bacon –

Scientist is not the one, who
gives the right answers, but the
one, who asks the right
questions.

– Claude Lévi-Strauss –

The more we will seek for the
truth outside us, the more we
will move away of it. The more
we will be able to understand
who we are, the more the truth
will assert us in ourselves.

– Antonio Meneghetti –

Before being dictated the nature
needs to be obeyed.

– Bacon –

A true scientist is not one who
has more acquired, but one who
has more understood.

– Leibniz –

Science – to know how the
being acts. To know the action
of the being.

– Antonio Meneghetti –

Science is benefactor of
mankind.

– Berthelot –

Sākums » Briefings » Society » Page 2

Latvia social briefing: Latvia’s education system in times of Covid-19

On March of 2020 the educational system of Latvia had to transform due to the Covid-19. The sudden shift outlined both the positive and negative aspects of the educational system of Latvia. Despite the flaws overall it was seen that the education system of Latvia had the capacity to adjust to the global changes in terms of education as overall students, parents, and teachers had valued positively the new conditions of distance learning.[1] Although the epidemiological situation in regards of Covid-19 has improved, yet there is still a chance of infection as according to the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia  in July of 2020 there have been detected more than 100 cases of Covid-19.[2]  As stated by the Ministry of Education it is planned switch back to the on-site learning on the next schoolyear. However, due to the active cases of Covid-19 new safety procedures will have to be taken into account to ensure safe on-site education process. 

The new school year is originally planned on-site

Currently, the Ministry of Education and Science is working on a scenario that envisages that the school year in Latvian schools will start in person. Although there is a possibility that the epidemiological situation may change, due to the increase in the cumulative number of Covid-19 patients in recent weeks, the emphasis has been put on starting the school year as usual and on-site. To decrease the risk of infection  the Ministry of Education and Science , in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, have been jointly forming the conditions for the organization of educational work for the next schoolyear. In order to ensure on-site learning process and to protect both teachers and children from COVID-19 infection risks, the Ministry of Education and Science has prioritized the maintenance of the safety measures, especially when planning the use of common areas of students and teachers.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science the practical key conditions for ensuring on-site learning process have been identified as:

  • Establishing internal procedures in schools;
  • Organizing flow of students and teachers;
  • Ensuring personal hygiene, monitoring of individual health conditions, particularly for persons at risk;
  • Frequent room cleaning algorithm, ventilation of rooms.

Additionally, in accordance to the decision of the supervisor of the educational institution there will be an option for the supervisor whether or not to ensure the educational activities remotely for students from 7th up to 12th grade, vocational institution students, and higher education students to promote distancing depending on the epidemiological situation in the country.

Currently there is being developed an action plan for schools in case if the epidemiological situation gets worse. Furthermore, the head of the educational institution will have to determine the procedures for the organization of teaching and pedagogical work, including communication channels with pupils and parents, so in case of epidemiological risks parents and as well students could be informed instantly. It has been suggested that the class should be equated with a more closed group of people, similar to a workplace for adults or a larger family. Thus, it is  not planned to maintain a mandatory requirement to follow the distance principle of two meters. The draft regulations developed by the Ministry of Education and Science state that the requirement to keep a distance of two meters between persons in the group or class of one educational institution is applicable only if it is objectively possible. However, in the common areas of the school such as gym, canteen, hallways, between different classes the general distance requirements will apply.

On the other hand, in special schools, the opposite will be the case – it will be necessary to wear individual protective equipment and there will be a requirement to keep a distance, as a result of which parents would not even be able to meet their children. This led to a wide-ranging debate among specialized educational institutions and because of that it is seen that this regulation will be reviewed by the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia.

To provide the suitable epidemiological plan and safety measures municipalities and school management will individually receive the support of Centre for Disease Prevention and Control epidemiologists, assessing the organization of the work process of the educational institution in a situation where the morbidity rates deteriorate or a case of Covid-19 is detected in the educational institution. The Ministry of Education and Science does not currently plan to set a specific indicator to which full-time or part-time studies should be transferred, as the it is intended to leave it up to each local government’s decision.

The educational process, according to the decision of the founder of the educational institution, can be partially or fully implemented remotely, for example, it can be done one day a week to ensure the possibility of distance. Similarly, in the vocational training process, all types of traineeships, including qualification traineeships and work-based learning in companies, are planned to take place on-site or remotely, assessing the risks to all parties.

Altogether, in the event of a deterioration in the epidemiological situation, the education process will be organized partly remotely. The experience of this spring shows that, if necessary, the Latvian education system is able to mobilize quickly and adapt to the rules imposed by the pandemic. The education platform “Your Classroom”, established by the Ministry of Education and Science in two weeks’ time , was recognized by the OECD as one of the best solutions in the world used by countries to continue the educational process in times of crisis. [3]The Ministry of Education and Science is also currently working on the further development of a similar platform, envisaging a much wider use of smart devices in the daily educational process. To improve the Latvian education system the Ministry of Education and Science, in co-operation with the Union of Local Governments of Latvia and other partners, have been developing solutions for increasing the involvement of technologies during the study process, thus making the education system of Latvia more adaptive to the epidemiological risks and modernizing the study process.

Latvia is improving the quality of education system monitoring

There are already several education quality monitoring processes in Latvia, including the system of accounting for the results of state examinations, accreditation of educational institutions, implementation of international comparative education research, analysis of  statistics in the State Education Information System. To improve the quality of monitoring processes the Ministry of Education and Science is developing an innovative approach to ensure the rise of the quality of education in Latvia. The  common framework will make it possible to analyze the interrelationships between the results of the various processes, assess their impact and develop evidence-based education policies at all levels of education, as well as implement the necessary support programs.

Starting from this year, it is planned to link monitoring tools with the State Education Information System. A risk identification system is also being developed so that changes in the quality of education can be responded to immediately without waiting for the next accreditation of the school or educational program.[4]

The upgraded monitoring system will look at the quality of education in a broader context, focusing on aspects such as quality learning, an inclusive environment, good governance and compliance with objectives. More accurate information will enable students and their parents to make more informed decisions about the choice of educational institution and program. At the same time, it will be an opportunity for educational institutions to evaluate the investments made and development perspectives.

Summary 

The previous experience shows that the education system of Latvia has the capacity to adjust to the global changes in terms of education since overall students, parents, and teachers had valued positively the new conditions of distance learning. As the overall epidemiological situation in Latvia has improved it is planned that the upcoming schoolyear will happen on-site. However, there are still epidemiological risks that require to follow safety precautions. To ensure safe on-site education process the educational institutions will have to  establish new internal procedures in schools such as organizing flow of students and teachers, ensuring personal hygiene, monitoring of individual health conditions, particularly for persons at risk, frequent room cleaning algorithm, ventilation of rooms and others. Additionally, in accordance to the  decision of the supervisor of the educational institution there will be an option for the supervisor whether or not to ensure the educational activities remotely for students from 7th up to 12th grade, vocational institution students, and higher education students to promote distancing depending on the epidemiological situation in the country. To ensure not only epidemiological safety for students but to also improve the quality of education in Latvia the Ministry of Education and Science is developing a upgraded monitoring system that will look at the quality of education in a broader context, focusing on aspects such as quality learning, an inclusive environment, good governance and compliance with objectives.

[1] https://home.edurio.com/izm-attalinato-macibu-rezultati

[2] https://covid19.gov.lv/covid-19/covid-19-statistika/covid-19-izplatiba-latvija

[3] https://izm.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/4191-ilga-suplinska-jauno-macibu-gadu-planojam-sakt-klatiene

[4] https://izm.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/4189-turpina-attistit-izglitibas-kvalitates-monitoringa-sistemu

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intelectual property of China-CEE institute

Latvia social briefing: Improvements in public health sector in Latvia

Improvements in public health sector in Latvia

Original publication available at the China-CEE institute website: https://china-cee.eu/2020/10/15/latvia-social-briefing-improvements-in-public-health-sector-in-latvia/

Introduction

During August and September 2020 more attention had been paid to the issues of public health sector namely focusing on the growing and alarming alcoholic beverage consumption and developing the new remuneration model for medical personnel. Addressing these issues is really crucial as both of these factors play an important role in the welfare of the Latvian society and therefore have a crucial influence on other topics such – general public health, quality of medical services and others.

Latvia’s action plan for reducing the consumption of alcoholic beverages and restricting alcoholism

In recent years, alcoholic beverage consumption has left a negative influence on the public health sector. The average alcoholic beverage consumption of the citizens of Latvia is higher that the European Union average and in fact is one of the highest in the European Union. [1] Besides the data from the Disease Prevention and Control Center of Latvia has outlined an unpleasant tendency – in the last 10 years the alcoholic consumption on average in Latvia has increased by more than half – 55%.  Because of the rapid growth of alcoholic beverage consumption, the Ministry of Health launched an action plan to limit and decrease the growing tendency.

In order to reduce the prevalence of alcohol consumption and the damage caused to public health, new restrictions on the availability and advertising of alcohol are planned in the coming years, while expanding alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation services. Alcohol consumption in Latvia is growing every year and exceeds the European average, so it is important to limit its availability and explain to the public the negative effects of alcohol on health.  The new action will namely focus on the following topics:

  • Limiting advertising of alcoholic beverage prices and discounts in the media and on the Internet;
  • More information on the labels of alcoholic beverages;
  • Increased police activity on the roads to decrease the risk of “drunk driving”;
  • Educating the society on the noxiousness of alcoholic beverage consumption;
  • To improve the knowledge of doctors in work with alcohol addicted patients;
  • Expanded opportunities for adolescents to receive treatment for alcohol addiction;
  • Reduce the cost of treatment for drug and alcohol addicts.

Wider treatment options

To help people who are addicted to alcohol or already have serious health problems, the Ministry of Health will expand its outpatient and inpatient treatment options in the coming years. It is planned to introduce a new state-paid group psychotherapy program based on the principles of 12-step therapy. The plan is also to set up a specialized pediatric drug department for adolescents who are suffering from various drug or alcoholic addictions. At the same time, it is planned to release narcotic patients with certain diagnoses from patients’ co-payments when receiving narcological services, as well as the possibility to pay for the necessary medicines from the state budget will be assessed. Additionally, it is planned to educate doctors on working with alcohol-addicted patients, the detection of alcohol usage problems.

Alcoholic beverage product promotions will only be advertised in the store

The second line of action of the plan is to limit the advertising of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, in order to reduce alcohol consumption in society, especially among young people, the Ministry of Health plans to ban the advertising of prices and discounts for beer and wine on television and radio, as well as the advertising of alcoholic beverages in the printed media, cinemas and the Internet. This means that advertising for prices and discounts for alcoholic beverages will be available only at points of sale where alcoholic beverages are sold. It is also planned to prohibit such sales promotion offers, which provide for the purchase of another alcoholic beverage, product or service free of charge or at a discount when purchasing an alcoholic beverage, for example, it will not be possible to make an offer “buy one get cheaper”, therefore reducing the promotion of alcohol consumption.

At the same time, it is important to explain to the public, especially young people, pregnant women and parents-to-be, the harmful effects of alcoholic beverages on health, which the Ministry of Health intends to continue to do. In addition to educational campaigns, it is planned that the labeling of alcoholic beverages will have to include information encouraging certain groups of the population not to drink alcohol, such as pregnant women and drivers. Information on the ingredients and nutritional value of the drink will also have to appear on the label. In turn, by conducting new studies, it is planned to obtain more complete data on alcohol consumption in the country and its consequences.

Reduce road traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers

Currently, the alcohol level in blood for drivers specified in Latvian legislation is – 0.2 promiles for drivers with less than two years of experience, and 0.5 promiles for others. In order to reduce road traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers, it is planned to evaluate, together with other ministries, the possibility of reducing the established blood alcohol level for all drivers to 0.2 promiles. This level is also set in Estonia, Poland and Sweden, while in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia blood alcohol levels are not acceptable, even at low doses.[2] It is also planned to review the alcohol sales hours of alcoholic beverages, taking into account the experience of other countries.

A new remuneration model for medical staff has been developed

The issue of low medical labor income has always been one of Latvia’s main challenges in social sector. The labor income inequality between Latvia and other European countries is drastic – Latvia’s medical personnel receives one of the lowest salaries in the European countries and in some cases the income can differ from even 2 up to 6 times. [3] This has served for a reason of mass labor emigration therefore within the years the amount of medical personnel has shrunk thus putting in danger the health system of Latvia. Within the last ten years the overall medical personnel resources have decreased by around 30%.[4] It is seen that the tendency will continue if the working conditions will not be improved.  Furthermore, in the recent years the discussion revolving the remuneration of medical staff has emerged and the representatives of medical workers have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with remuneration models by organizing marches, protests, etc.  Because of that the Ministry of Health has developed a new remuneration model for medical staff with aim to come closer to the European Union average level of medical staff income and improve the quality of life for medical workers in Latvia.

Analyzing the problems of existing remuneration system, a solution was found so that a more efficient and transparent salary system would be implemented namely focusing on the aim that everyone could trace the amount of work, knowledge, skills and additional responsibilities the medical practitioner needs to correspond to receive a certain amount of income . According to the developed 7-year development plan, the increase of salaries for medical personnel is planned to be gradual, ensuring remuneration corresponding to the doctor’s education, skills and economic level.

In 2019 the average salary for a doctor was 2003 euros before taxes. With the new remuneration model to improve the wealth of medical personnel it is planned that by 2027 the  average salary would reach 3833 euros before taxes. It is planned that the target salary will be achieved over a period of 7 years, ensuring an annual increase in remuneration by that having an average annual salary increase of 11.5%.[5] Additionally, an annual 12% increase in salaries is planned for medical and patient care persons, such as nurses, physician assistants, etc. If in 2019 the average salary for  patient care persons was 1150 euros, then in 2027 the target salary is set to be 2259 euros basing on the current forecasts of economic development, and taking into account the projected changes in the average wage in the economy and inflation. To continue, medical and patient care support persons, such as nursing assistants, are expected to  receive a salary increase by 5% per year, reaching the target salary of EUR 1,096 in 2027 (in 2019, the average salary for these persons was EUR 766).

Summary

The increasing alcoholic beverage consumption within the Latvian society served as a basis for Latvia’s action plan for reducing the intake of alcoholic beverages and restricting alcoholism. The main direction of the action plan will be limitations on advertising alcohol, educating society and expanded treatment opportunities for persons suffering from alcohol addiction. Additionally, to improve medical sector the Ministry of Health has developed a new remuneration model for medical personnel to increase the welfare and living conditions of doctors, nurses, and other medical workers. It is planned that within the year medical personnel will experience a significant increase in salaries thus reaching closer to the European Union’s average levels of medical personnel income.

[1]  https://ec.europa.eu/health/alcohol/indicators_en

[2]https://www.vm.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/preses_relizes/6395_turpmakajos_gados_stradas_pie_alkohola_paterina_samazinasana/

[3] https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=30025

[4] https://data1.csb.gov.lv/pxweb/lv/sociala/sociala__veseliba__iestades/VAG160.px/table/tableViewLayout1/

[5]https://www.vm.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/preses_relizes/6398_veselibas_ministrija_kopa_ar_nozares_parstavjiem_izstradajus/

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intellectual property of China-CEE institute

Latvia social briefing: Strengthening the independence and capacity of public media in Latvia

Original publication available at the China-CEE Institute website

Introduction

In October Latvian Parliament supported the draft law on public electronic media (public media) and their management to ensure efficient and transparent management, independence and responsibility of public media before society, as well as promotion of quality work. The discussion went on how to strengthen the independence of the media in Latvia and not allow political appointments of editors-in-chief for public media. Doubts were expressed that Public Electronic Mass Media Council[1] (new supervising authority for public electronic mass media which will complement existing national supervisor – National Electronic Mass Media Council[2]) may not be enough to cope with all the tasks, and there is a question of the Council’s independence, as its three board members will be appointed by President, Parliament and Council for Implementation of the Cooperation Memorandum between Non-governmental Organizations and the Cabinet of Ministers accordingly.

However, the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Parliament, who is responsible of foundation of new Public Electronic Mass Media Council, explained that one should trust the Council, which will approve the editor of electronic media. The task of the editor would be to monitor the implementation of the social media guidelines developed by the Council. The editor monitors the implementation of the guidelines not from the side-lines, but together with the Board, and if necessary tells the Board that we need to talk about this and that, and “the Board opens the wallet and looks at the possibilities and implements the guidelines”, the Committee explained. It is expected that Latvian media will be strengthened by this decision.

Public Media Law has been finalizing – one more step towards foundation of Public Electronic Mass Media Council

On 20 October 2020, the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Parliament supported in the third reading the legislative draft “On Public Electronic Mass Media and Their Management”[3]. Its goal is ensuring efficient and transparent management, independence and responsibility before society, as well as promotion of quality work in public media. “The legislative draft is large and vitally important for Latvia’s public media sector. It will form a new framework for public media. Finally, the functions of the Public Electronic Mass Media Council will be divided. This will ensure the Council is not simultaneously responsible for both monetary and supervisory topics” the Committee’s chairman Artuss Kaimiņš previously said. It is intended that the new law will outline the strategic goal of public electronic mass media, their legal status, operations, financing, management and monitoring principles.

The legislative draft states that public electronic mass media are capital associations in which all capital shares are owned by the state. The newly-founded the Public Electronic Mass Media Council (PEMMC) will be the holder of state capital shares in public media.

PEMMC will consist of three members. One will be picked by the State President, one – by the Parliament, and the last one – by the Council for Implementation of the Cooperation Memorandum between Non-governmental Organizations and the Cabinet of Ministers. The legislative draft details multiple requirements a person needs to meet in order to become eligible for a post there. For example, candidates are not allowed to be members of political parties or associations of political parties. Editorial policy formation will be the responsibility of the editor in chief of public media. It is also possible that PEMMC members may be allowed to be elected for repeated terms, but no more than twice in a row. In turn, the members of the council will be elected from among themselves for one year.

Thus, it is expected that the PEMMC will be independent, and it will be an opportunity to form a professional team, and members of the Council’s board will not be allowed to use their authority to directly or indirectly influence editorial decisions of public media.

The legislative draft submitted in October states that state budget grants for implementation of public orders will not be allowed to be lower than their value of the previous year. It will be prohibited to post all kinds of commercial announcements anywhere in the programmes presented by public media, including the internet.

The new draft law also provides for the establishment of a public electronic media ombudsman. It is planned that it will monitor the compliance of the services provided by public electronic media with the purpose and basic principles set out in the draft law, as well as the codes of ethics and editorial guidelines for public media. It is also envisaged that the Ombudsman will have the right to address the Parliament with a reasoned submission, urging the removal of a PEMMC member or the entire Council, if the ombudsman has established that the Council member’s actions or omissions pose a threat to the editorial independence of public media.

Public media will receive an additional 10 to 12 million euros for public media over five years

In October the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Parliament decided that the future PEMMC will have to submit a concept on a public electronic media funding model, which would envisage, among other things, reaching the European average funding level within five years. This would mean an increase in funds for public media from 36 million to 48 million euros, which would be an additional 12 million euros.

The Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee supported the law stipulating that the concept of PEMMC would have to be submitted to the Committee within six months of the establishment of PEMMC. The document will need to provide a funding model that will provide independent, adequate and predictable funding for public service media. PEMMC will also have to develop another concept from six months after its creation: the creation and operation of a unified public electronic media.

In Latvian Television programs, at least 10% of the broadcast time will have to be provided for audio-visual works by Latvian independent producers

The Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Parliament decided that in Latvian Television programs, at least 10% of broadcasting time will have to be provided for audiovisual works made by Latvian independent producers. Independent producers had initially suggested 15% instead of the above 10%, explaining that the proportion should be set so that the independent production industry has a clearly defined place and perspective for working with the public media.

Representatives of the industry pointed out that independent producers have formed an important part of Latvia’s electronic media culture and social memory since the 1990s and are “the history of Latvian culture and recent times, without which a high – quality Latvian – language media environment is unthinkable”, is claimed in the letter from the independent producers to the Committee.

Additional 30 000 euros are granted to Latvian public media with regard to Covid-19

On Tuesday, 20 October, the Government decided to allocate 30 930 euros to the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) from contingency fund. It is planned that additional funding will cover the costs of creating and distributing additional content related to Covid-19, as well as the costs of epidemiological safety measures in the Republic of Latvia, which are necessary to reduce the risk of employees and interviewees becoming infected with Covid-19.

The recent informative report prepared by the Ministry of Culture on the impact of the Covid-19 emergency on the financial capacity of public media to ensure the fulfilment of the public order has indicated that the Latvian Radio needs an additional 17 098 euros, which after 20 October decision will be transferred to cover the costs of creating and distributing additional content related to Covid-19.

Summary

In October Latvian government and Parliament was occupied with public media support issues. First, legislative draft “On Public Electronic Mass Media and Their Management” (Public Media Law) was submitted for third reading by the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Parliament. Public Electronic Mass Media Council (PEMMC) operation conditions and management rules were developed, as well as procedure for appointment of Board members. PEMMC will have to submit a concept on a public electronic media funding model, which would envisage, among other things, reaching the European average funding level within five years. PEMMC will also have to develop another concept from six months after its creation: the creation and operation of a unified public electronic media.

Also, the Parliament of Latvia supported decision to provide more broadcasting time on Latvian television to independent producers.

In October there is also additional funding granted to Latvian mass media (Latvian Radio and Latvian Television) to cope with Covid-19 crisis consequences and produce new content related to informing population about Covid-19 safety measures.

[1] Public Electronic Mass Media Council (PEMMC) – a newly-founded independent supervising authority & holder of state capital shares in public media in Latvia that, in accordance with its competence, will represent the public interest in the field of public electronic media.

[2] National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) – the current Latvian independent, autonomous institution that represents the public interest in the field of electronic mass media. The Council supervises the compliance of the operations of electronic mass media with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, Electronic mass media law and other relevant legislation.

[3] https://balticnewsdesk.com/baltic-news-network-news-from-latvia-lithuania-estonia-one-more-step-made-on-the-path-towards-foundation-of-seplp/

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intellectual property of China-CEE institute

Latvia social briefing: Main achievements and challenges in Latvian society in 2020

Original publication available at the China-CEE Institute website

Introduction

Covid-19 has influenced every sphere of life not only in Latvia but all over the world.
Social life of Latvian inhabitants this year faced plethora of changes due to emergency situation.
Additionally, Latvia still has a problem of aging population and population decrease in general.
This year educational system of Latvia was forced to quickly adapt significant changes and
successfully implemented remote learning for the whole population. At the same time, it was
very important to track people’s opinion about the social and economic situation in the country.
In this social briefing the following main social and socio-economic results of the year in
Latvia will be summarized:

  1. Population statistics trends of year 2020;
  2. Attitude of the population towards Covid-19 news;
  3. Main changes in the sector of education due to Covid-19;
  4. Impact of Covid-19 on elderly population.

Full publication can be found here.

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intellectual property of China-CEE institute

The trends and forecasts for Latvian main social indicators in 2021

Original publication available at the China-CEE Institute website.

Introduction

During the first half of 2021, the government will continue the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Immunization of the population is the main priority for this period. However, there are several obstacles for the citizens’ vaccination, one of them is the absence of an appropriate, realistic, and efficient plan of vaccination.

Demographic situation in Latvia is worsen yearly, the population is decreasing and ageing, the government need to introduce long-term measures.

The unemployment rate can increase this year up to 10% due to the tax reform, leaving a lot of entrepreneurs and their employees without work. Latvians believe that this year will not bring significant positive changes in the financial situation, most people think that it will remain unchanged.

National minimum monthly wage (gross) has been increased in Latvia from EUR 430 to EUR 500 in 2021. However, it is still less than this indicator in the neighbour Baltic countries and EU average minimum wage rate.

Full publication can be found here.

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intellectual property of China-CEE institute

Changes in Latvian social strata in the past 30 years

Original publication available at the China-CEE Institute website.

Introduction

The last 30 years for Latvia have been very fruitful but it is difficult to say that only positive changes had a place in the social structure. The overall trend of life quality is increasing. However, the most challenging issue for the country since the accession to the European Union is the population outflow and aging. The important note is that the full independence of Latvia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union was in 1991.

To analyse the changes in Latvian social strata vital social indicators are used such as average monthly wages, minimum monthly wages, the purchasing power of employed population, enrolment and graduation in the higher education institutions and colleges active population employment status and average old-age pensions in the country.

Full publication can be found here.

*This article has been made in cooperation with China-CEE institute and is the intellectual property of China-CEE institute