Despite the vibrant public and cultural life, there is still no place in Riga where people can meet with experts, academics, diplomats or state officials for an informal talk over a cup of coffee/tea on important security and foreign policy issues. Given the lack of communication between the responsible state institutions (e.g. the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the wider public in explanation of Latvia’s foreign and security policy agenda, the Latvian Transatlantic organization with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation intends to organise regular discussions for wider public with prominent Latvian and foreign experts on foreign affairs, security policy and international relations.
- to establish a tradition of having informal open debates on foreign and security policy issues;
- to facilitate a dialogue between policy makers and wider society;
- to provide a platform for exchange of ideas and opinions on actual foreign policy issues;
- to contribute to the creation of Latvia’s expert community etc.
Format of discussions
The discussions will be organized in Latvian language on a regularly basis under the Chatham House rules. The venue will be the LATO office, which can accommodate around 25-30 persons. Every discussion will be dedicated to a specific topic. The expert of the discussion will be invited to make a short presentation on the topic with the following Q & A session. The whole even will be conducted in an informal atmosphere with the coffee/tea served. The discussions will be organized at 18:00 on a workday (apprx. 2 h). If a particular topic receives greater attention resulted in a bigger number of registered participants, the discussions will be organized in the big hall of the Latvian Academic Library, where LATO office is located.
The discussions will be opened to the wider public without any limitations. Everyone who is interested into the topic can register him-/herself for the event via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (+371) 67322883.
The next day after the event a short report (in Latvian and English) with photos will be published on LATO webpage.
- enhancement of knowledge of wider society (especially young generation) about actual foreign and security policy issues;
- establishment a tradition of holding regular debates on foreign and security policy issues;
- creation of a new platform for communication;
- this project will unite professors and students from different universities, giving the fresh and non-doctrinal views in terms of only one academic organization etc.
March 3, 2010
Mr. Jānis Sārts, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Latvia
March 10, 2010
Amb. Jānis Eichmanis, Permanent Representative of Latvia to NATO