Latvia's future security concept foresees no public media in Russian

The draft new national security concept of Latvia indicates that from January 1, 2026, content created on public media should be only in Latvian and "languages belonging to the European cultural space". The supervisory body Public Electronic Mass Media Council (SEPLP) opposes this, LSM's Latvian-language service reports.


Informatīvais ziņojums “Nacionālās drošības koncepcija 2023”


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The draft “National Security Concept 2023”, supported by the government, states that “taking into account that the role of the official language in all areas of life is being strengthened in Latvia, as of January 1, 2026, the content created by the public media must be only in Latvian and languages belonging to the European cultural space, thus promoting the belonging of all Latvian residents to a single information space, which is based in Latvian and other languages of the European Union, candidate countries of the European Union, and the European Economic area”.

The draft concept also indicates that strong and protected information space is based on strong local media and high-quality local content in Latvian.

“It is necessary to ensure that the entire Latvian society is located in a single information room, and consume unified content, thus stopping the division of the society and promoting its cohesiveness on the basis of the official language. The future policy for the protection and development of the State information space shall be fundamentally based on the values of the Latvian language and the Constitution. Such media policy and legal environment shall be created, which supports content in the official language,” as indicated in the draft concept.

“When the state stops financing content in Russian, the process of creating a single informative space would be concluded, while in commercial media content in Russian would continue to exist at private expense,” the concept project states.

New Minister of Culture Agnese Logina (Progressives) however, previously stated in an interview with Latvian Radio that the media needs to continue creating content in Russian because “we live next to two aggressive countries fighting for our intellectual space,” “Russia managed to lie to the extent that for many it became the truth,” and the only way to stand up to it is to tell the truth in a language that people understand.

“Content in foreign languages, both English and Russian, needs to be created so that we can tell about ourselves, because we will be talked about anyway, the question is whether we participate in this conversation,” Logina said.

Meanwhile, SEPLP expressed its confusion in a letter to the Saeima, the Ministry of Culture, and the National Security Council that the institution responsible for advancing the concept has not asked for the Council's opinion.

“The Council is of the opinion that it is important to support the creation of high-quality content in the media space of Latvia for the access of minorities living in Latvia, with the aim of strengthening the sense of statehood and belonging to Latvia by paying attention to the European cultural space of the minority living in Latvia. Public media must address different audiences and be accessible throughout the territory of Latvia. One of the specific target audiences of Latvian public media is national minorities,“ SEPLP said in the letter.


SEPLP vēstule Saeimai, Kultūras ministrijai un Nacionālās drošības padomei


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The Council noted that the media should create and offer a qualitative and understandable alternative to the sources of information representing the Russian information space, providing choices.

“Public media reaches a significant minority population every week, especially in Rīga and Latgale, which are in the risk group of disinformation. Taking into account the need to strengthen the position of the official language in the media environment, it is necessary to significantly strengthen the capacity of public media content in order to create quality content in the official language, which would be able to attract minority audiences as well, thus promoting the use of language and the cohesion of society and the feeling of belonging to Latvia,” SEPLP said.

The Council said that in the medium term, there should be a professional discussion on the gradual reduction of content in minority languages, replacing it with content in the national language, but this should be done by assessing the impact of disinformation on the target audience concerned.

SEPLP invites the Saeima to approve the concept of national security without including the specific paragraph, given that its inclusion was not coordinated with the responsible institution, as it also foresees negative and discriminatory effects on the functioning of public electronic media, as well as opportunities for minorities to obtain publicly loyal information.

LETA reported that the previous national Security Concept was developed and approved by the Saeima in 2019. The concept is based on the State threat analysis developed by the State security institutions and the national security threats and risks specified therein.

This updated concept will still need to be approved by the Saeima.

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