Friday , June 2 2023

The people of Latvia have something to say about the future of Europe. You also participate!


From the beginning of October, in the regional face-to-face discussions and the web-based, the ideas of Latvian people for the future of Europe are being collected, the organizers inform.

Voting to determine the most popular ideas will continue until November 9th, but sector experts had the opportunity before the end of the vote to get acquainted with the suggestions of more than 300 people gathered on the #ManaEiropa digital platform and also to look at the voting trends.

Experts admit that the ideas and votes cast about them refute the myth that the inhabitants of Latvia are a little interested in EU-level issues and make a lot of interesting observations in their comments.

Aldis Austers, a researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, said: "In addition to climate and nature conservation issues, there are comparatively many recommendations for eliminating inequalities: both among the people of the country and between the Member States, including the peasants. It feels like it's a tangled subject in society. "

In its turn, the fact that the platform-induced proposal for Latvia's withdrawal from the EU has not gained support, he believes, shows a public consensus on the importance of Latvia's membership in the EU.

In his turn, Researcher Elizabete Vizgunova, a researcher at the Latvian Institute of Foreign Policy, commented that the ideas presented substantially support the principles of the EU Social Pillar: equal opportunities and access to the labor market, fair working conditions and social protection and inclusion. It would be worthwhile for her to discuss a lot of ideas during the European Parliament's pre-election, allowing the different political forces to put forward their vision of achieving the prosperity of the EU.

Dace Akule, Policy Advisor and Civil Society Consultant, sees the trend in suggestions and votes – "is
stable support for more inclusive growth and a moving economy, which requires a more sophisticated and smarter use of resources. Among the ideas are support for those who produce after non-waste production principles, and the call for the EU to use sustainable raw materials more in production and, for example, to create a system for using, rather than dispose of waste, food surplus. "

Sociologist Janis Daugavietis concludes that the care of the inhabitants of Latvia about the ecological situation of the environment and future prospects is clearly outlined. This is a signal that a certain public is supporting EU initiatives in this area and is also ready for further, perhaps even more radical, steps in environmental protection policy. He points out that people have come up with different values ​​and attitudes, so the proposals are controversial, at times even utopian, and yet it is information that points to what the people care about and which they now seem to accept.

Edmunds Cepuritis, an expert on environmental policy, concludes that, in general, the environmental requirements of the population are very relevant to the most important problems of today. Environmental protection is an area where European decision-makers have good opportunities to be aware of – it is the opportunity to make decisive decisions about the usefulness of a European project for a single citizen. Claims for a deposit system, waste reduction and other agricultural policies show the European Union as a green ally for allies – it is expected that a sensible European policy will bring the right path to passive Latvian politicians. He explains the low popularity of climate policy recommendations with the catastrophically implemented green energy policy in Latvia, as well as the idea that climate change in Latvia will not have such negative consequences.

Meanwhile, media expert Rita Ruduša believes that the summary points to a relatively high level of awareness among the population about the impact of the availability of high-quality information and media perceptions on the resilience of society to external and internal threats, as well as the maturity of Latvian democracy. The results also show people's awareness of social networking responsibility for disseminating manipulative or false information.

Expert comments can be found on the #ManaEiropa homepage:

Following the idea of ​​gathering and voting after 9 November, the results of the public consultation, lessons learned and proposals on the future of Europe will form the basis for the National Report of Latvia to be presented to the Heads of State and Government of the EU in a joint report by EU Member States and institutions and will be discussed at the European Council meeting this year. December

The Dialogue on the Future of Europe is being implemented following the initiative taken by the French President Emanuelle Macron to get people's views on Europe. EU citizens are invited to voice their views on what changes are needed in Europe so that the EU can help meet people's expectations in dealing with things that are really important to people and offer better solutions than individual Member States can offer.

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