Meierovica biedrība
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pirmdien, janvāris 16th, 2012

We would like to thank all those who have supported activities of the Meierovics Society.

Co-operation partners of the Meierovics Society:

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Donate to the Meierovics Society:

Meierovics Society for Progressive Change
Registration No: 40008159512

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Account: LV 57RIKO0002013169380

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Twitter: lietussargsLV

Latvia. History. Society. 21st century.

piektdien, septembris 2nd, 2011

On 9 September 2011 the Meierovics Society in cooperation with 1/4 Satori organizes a discussion “Latvia. History. Society. 21st century.”

Although Latvia enjoys freedom and democracy for twenty years now, there have been almost no discussions about the history and its role in the life of the society. The history writing in Latvia is something meant not for a discussion—the history is mainly consumed, but not reflected. Majority of the society believes that history has to serve for ideological purposes in order to educate youth and strengthen patriotism; it is also believed that history’s service, as an instrument of politics, is equally legitimate. It seems that now there is the right moment to discuss the role of history in the Latvian society. This discussion has to involve historians and opinion leaders from different backgrounds and the aim of such discussion is to help the historians to succeed in overcoming intellectual isolation and also the discussion has to encourage gradual changes of the society’s perception of the historical research.

The discussion “Latvia. History. Society. 21st century” is intended as a first step in creating dialogue between the historians and representatives of the society (opinion leaders). This discussion will be an opportunity for historians and opinion leaders to discuss the society’s perception of the history and also some lively debated research problems. This will be an open discussion, aimed to involve historians, academics from humanities and social sciences, opinion leaders and students.

We would like to pose number of questions for discussion in this event: what kind of relationship between politics and history there should be in the contemporary society? How we should tell stories about tragic historical experiences of Latvia by not losing critical perception of our past? How to perceive history in its wholeness, not blending out different time-periods and neglecting the others? Whether it is possible to use history for promoting reconciliation within Latvia’s society? What are the main objectives of the historical research in 21st century Latvia and whether history has to serve only for the political purposes and integration of the society?

The event is supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

More information about the event is available here in Latvian.

Presentation of the book “Returnings – Swedish Security Policy and the Baltic Countries during their First Years of Independence 1991-1994”

trešdien, augusts 17th, 2011

The Embassy of Sweden and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga) have the honour of inviting to a presentation of the book “Returnings – Swedish Security Policy and the Baltic Countries during their First Years of Independence 1991-1994” (“Återkomster. Svensk säkerhetspolitik och de baltiska ländernas första år i självständighet 1991-1994”. Atlantis publishing house), which is published in Latvian by the publishing house Atena in August 2011 with the title “Atgriešanās. Zviedrijas drošības politika un Baltijas valstu atgūtās neatkarības pirmie gadi 1991—1994”. The presentation will be given by the author, ambassador Lars Peter Fredén.

The Meierovics Society has collected donations for publishing of the book. We would like to thank all contributors who made this event happened. List of sponsors is available here.

Date: Monday, 29 August 2011
Time: 16.00
Venue: Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Soros Auditorium, 2nd Floor (Strēlnieku iela 4a, Rīga)

More information about the event is available here.

Guest of the Meierovics Society – economist Claus Vastrup

piektdien, maijs 20th, 2011

On 20 May 2011 the Meierovics Society had an honor to host economist Claus Vastrup. Mr Vastrup is professor of Aarhus University, for many years he has served as a co-chairman and chairman of the Danish Economic Council.

Claus Vastrup introduced the members and experts of the Meierovics Society with the experience of Denmark in setting competitive and strict fiscal policy and fixed curency exchange rate policy. He explained pros and cons of these policies, as well as answered questions about lessons to be learned for Latvia.

It was noted during the debate that independent advisory board of economists to the Government would help increase quality of public debate about economic issues and provide politicians with well-grounded advice.

The Meierovics Society would like to thank Embassy of Denmark in Latvia for arranging the meeting with Mr Claus Vastrup.

Meierovics Society collects donations to publish a book on Swedish security policy and the Baltic States

otrdien, aprīlis 26th, 2011

Meierovics Society calls for donations in order to publish in Latvian an interesting, neutral observer narrative of the events in the Baltics, 1991-1994: Återkomsten: Svensk säkerhetspolitik och de baltiska ländernas första år i självständighet 1991-1994  (Return – Swedish security policy and the Baltic States during the first years of independence 1991-1994) written by Lars Peter Fredén. In 1992-1994 Mr Fredén served as Special Adviser to the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt on Security Policy and Baltic Issues.

Translation of the book in Latvian is supported by the Swedish Embassy. It is estimated that the total amount necessary for publishing a book would be about 3000 Ls (4270 EUR). By 15 April 2011 Meierovics Society has collected and transferred to the publishing house ATENA 1580 Ls (2250 EUR), or roughly a half of the amount required.

Rail Baltica – current development and business perspectives

piektdien, aprīlis 15th, 2011

On 24 March 2011 Meierovics Society for Progressive Change and Stockholm School of Economics in Riga organized conference “Rail Baltica – current development and business perspectives”. The conference was supported by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, European Commission Representation in Latvia and Canadian Embassy in Latvia. Information support was provided by Baltic News Services (BNS) and Latvian Railways Museum. Event management was provided by iDEA House Ltd.

 Rail Baltica transport corridor from Helsinki to Berlin is one of the 30 priority projects defined in the EU TEN-T policy. It is also integral part of the EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy Action Plan. Within the TEN-T project framework significant infrastructure improvements had been made by Estonia on the Tallinn-Tartu-Valga route (1520 mm gauge) and construction works initiated on the Lithuanian section Šeštokai–Mockava. Latvia has postponed the infrastructure upgrade of its part of the corridor until the end of 2011.

The Rail Baltica project has wide support by Latvian population. TNS Latvia survey shows 75% of inhabitants support the development of Tallinn-Warsaw rail link. The conference demonstrated active interest and involvement of Finland, Estonia and Poland into the project. Examples of similar corridors (North Bothnia corridor, Scandria corridor and Via Regia) showed that joint strategy development and close stakeholder involvement creates necessary critical mass for the positive development of the corridor idea.

Business representatives of the Rail Baltica development zone demonstrated new potentials that Rail Baltica would bring to the Baltic countries.

The second phase of Rail Baltica line would include new high speed rail infrastructure connecting Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania-Poland (European gauge). Currently, the transport ministries of three Baltic countries have launched a feasibility study on the optimal path, gauge and business model. AECOM Ltd presented first conclusions of the study. The study has to be finalized by May 2011. After the study governments of the three Baltic countries should define exact alignment of the route. This will be strategic decision either to continue snake-type rail transport traditions established in the 19th century or develop Rail Baltica as a modern direct line between the metropoles of the Baltic Sea Region.

 Agenda of the conference and presentations of the speakers are available at the web site:

http://lietussargs.lv/prezentacijas-no-konferences-rail-baltica-attistiba-un-biznesa-iespejas/

Board Members of the Meierovics Society:

trešdien, februāris 2nd, 2011

Board Members of the Meierovics Society as of 28 March 2014:

  • Andris Grafs – Chairman of the Board, Youth policy expert
  • Indulis Balmaks – Sworn Advocate
  • Lolita Čigāne – Member of Parliament, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Finance
  • Sarmīte Ēlerte – Member of Riga City Council, former Minister of Culture
  • Ilze Garoza – project manager
  • Tālis Linkaits – Deputy Chairman of the Board, Head of Secretariat of Baltic Sea Region inter-ministerial cooperation VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea)
  • Raimonds Seņko – business consultant
  • Tālis Tīsenkopfs – professor, Head of Department of Sociology of Latvian University
  • Juris Viļums – Member of Parliament, Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Inquiry Committee

Board Members of the Meierovics Society, 28 March 2012 – 28 March 2014:

  • Andris GrafsChairman of the Board, Youth policy expert (Board Member since 21 June 2012)
  • Indulis Balmaks – Sworn Advocate
  • Eva Birzniece – Director of NGO Pro Futuro, Board Member of Civic Alliance Latvia
  • Lolita Čigāne – Member of Parliament, Secretary of the Public Administration and Municipal Affairs Committee, former  Chairperson of the Board of Transparency International Latvian chapter Delna
  • Sarmīte Ēlerte – Adviser to Prime Minister of Latvia, former Minister of Culture
  • Tālis Linkaits – Head of Secretariat of Baltic Sea Region inter-ministerial cooperation VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea)
  • Solveiga Silkalna – Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister of Latvia
  • Tālis Tīsenkopfs – professor, Head of Department of Sociology of Latvian University
  • Juris Viļums – Member of Parliament, Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Inquiry Committee

Board Members of the Meierovics Society, 14 June 2010 – 28 March 2012:

  • Tālis Linkaits – Chairman of the Board, and Head of Secretariat of Baltic Sea Region inter-ministerial cooperation VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea)
  • Mārtiņš Vecvanags – Deputy Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of the Board, Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Georgia
  • Lolita Čigāne – Member of Parliament, Secretary of the Public Administration and Municipal Affairs Committee, former  Chairperson of the Board of Transparency International Latvian chapter Delna
  • Sarmīte Ēlerte – Adviser to Prime Minister, former Minister of Culture
  • Jānis Garančs – Multimedia Arts and Crafts Professional, researcher at Liepaja University
  • Uģis Rotbergs – former Member of Parliament, former Director of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Latvia
  • Mārtiņš Štāls, IT expert
  • Tālis Tīsenkopfs, professor, Head of Department of Sociology of Latvian University

„The Meierovics Society for Progressive Change” offers “Bread for the road for the new Saeima and Government”

pirmdien, janvāris 17th, 2011

On 11 November 2010 the Meierovics Society sent the following statement to the Members of Saeima and Government:

 In Latvia, whenever someone embarks on a new journey it is a tradition for friends to offer sustenance, or „bread for the road‟ ahead. The Meierovics Society for Progressive Change, in support of the voters’ desire to see progressive change become part of the public governance agenda, presents the Members of the Parliament and the Government some “bread” for their trip.

 The legacy of the work of the newly elected parliament and government over the next four years should be a Latvian state in which all citizens of Latvia take pride and want to live in. Many important activities towards this goal are already a part of the Valdis Dombrovskis‟ Government Statement. We hope that they will be seen to completion.

To bake our bread, we gathered ingredients from the opinions and advice of about 80 experienced experts from different fields. We’ve highlighted 10 strategic directions – 10 grains of salt.

Full text: MB_celamaize_ENG

“Meierovics Society for progressive change” founded to promote quality, open politics and active public involvement in Latvia

otrdien, marts 30th, 2010

“The Meierovics Society for Progressive Change” was founded on March 21, to provide the Latvian public with a new channel for informed civic involvement. The 27 founders of the non-governmental organization hope that people throughout Latvia will join them in developing new ideas, good proposals, and policy guidelines which could bring needed changes to the Latvian political system.

The goal of the Society is to bring together experts in all sectors of Latvian life, generate a constructive public debate on key issues, and prepare professional recommendations that have a direct relevance to the upcoming October 2 parliamentary elections.  The organization hopes to continue its activities after the election as well.

The founders of the Society have underlined that the new organisation is not a political party, nor will it become one, and that it will not endorse any parties. Society membership is open to all, regardless of political affiliation.  

Sarmite Elerte, former editor of the newspaper DIENA was elected chairperson of the Society’s board, and Uģis Rotbergs, Director of the Latvian World Wildlife Fund, was elected vice-chairman. During its first meeting on March 24 the Board discussed general principles and practical activities that should be undertaken immediately to promote broader public involvement and encourage public demands for responsible politics and governance. The Board also agreed on regional outreach activities to encourage membership and local participation in all parts of Latvia, and will seek to establish contacts and idea exchanges with other NGO’s.

The Society is named after Zigfrids Anna Meierovics, Latvia’s first foreign minister. Meierovics is one of the founding fathers of the Latvian Republic in 1918, and is credited with achieving Latvia’s international recognition as a sovereign state in 1921.  During Latvia’s war of independence, Meierovics participated in both military battles and diplomatic negotiations, and is universally admired in Latvia as a paragon civic idealism. Meierovcs also believed that Latvia’s destiny was one with that of  the Western world.  The Society has pledged to continue the realization of Meierovcs’ vision by helping Latvia become a dynamic, self-assured and respectable 21st century western country.

The Society’s webpage can be found at www.lietussargs.lv.  For additional information contact Agnija Jansone at  email hidden; JavaScript is required

March 26, 2010

An invitation to form The Meierovics Society

otrdien, marts 30th, 2010

An invitation to form The Meierovics Society

Issued on the first day of Spring in Riga, Latvia, on March 21, 2010

We invite you to join us!

We have come together as a Society, to bring about good and necessary changes in Latvia.  In the beginning of the 20th century our ancestors knew what it took to build a contemporary European nation.  Today, it is up to us.  We are ready to give our time and energy to help Latvia become a dynamic, self-assured and respectable 21st century western country.  We see that as our responsibility, both to the past, and to the future.  

We have come together as a Society, to improve the politics of our state. Politics is not, and should not be limited to small political groups. It is both the right and responsibility of every voter to get involved and try to influence the process.  The Meierovics Society has brought together experts in a variety of fields, and we are guided by an unselfish and strong desire to donate our knowledge and skills to the development of Latvia. The goal of the Meierovics Society is to work, to prepare professional recommendations, and promote the infusion of good ideas and the highest quality expertise into the political process.  This must happen, not only in the pre-election period, but at all times.

We have come together as a Society, to encourage our fellow citizens of Latvia to be demanding.  If we don’t ask for politics of quality and don’t take action ourselves, then we will not get good schools and hospitals, competitive higher education, a fair business environment, and the kind of politicians and government officials that truly serve in the interests of their fellow citizens. This will not take place if we do not become involved.  Everything must change – politics must be open. The responsibility of politicians is to listen and be accountable, while the responsibility of the voter is to gather in groups, create organisations, formulate ideas, offer recommendations and participate in the process.  We wish to mobilize all of Latvia’s patriots and offer a broad public platform for the participation of all society; a neutral environment for cross-sectoral discussions, where experts can meet with various party members and social representatives. We will be both a repository and forge of good ideas. Always keeping in mind that Latvia’s prosperity and development is our goal.

We have come together as a Society to promote Latvia’s sense of spiritual unity, and to involve Latvians around the world, offering them new opportunities to participate. We want to promote the rebirth of altruism in the cultural code of Latvians and Latvia’s inhabitants. Unselfishness is a precondition for the survival of a society and a nation.

We have come together as a Society which is named after Zigfrids Meierovics.  Latvia’s first foreign minister accomplished a great deal in order to help Latvia achieve international recognition as a state in the beginning of the 20th century. He saw the Democratic Republic of Latvia as a guiding star and was convinced that Latvia’s destiny was one with the Western world.  After the First World War, Meierovics was one of the leaders of a society which sought out Latvian émigrés scattered around the world and helped them repatriate to Latvia.  In 1919, while serving as Foreign Minister, he carried a weapon as he fought in Latvia’s battles for independence.  For us, the civic idealism of Zigfrids Meierovics is an inspiring example.

We have come together as a Society and invite you to join us. Become a member or supporter of our Society. Latvia needs progressive change and all of our civic idealism!