Latvians abroad are meeting up in Riga and Stockholm

On 27 July at the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), a forum on informal cooperation between Latvians working for the European Union (EU) and other international organisations took place to discuss the best ways of cooperating with professionals who are employed outside Latvia and represent Latvia’s interests.

In her remarks at the event, Parliamentary Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica emphasised that, since Latvia became a member of international organizations, the number of Latvian citizens who work for those organisations, especially the EU and the UN, has also been increasing.

According to this year’s data, 280 Latvians are employed at the European Commission in Brussels, 64 – at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, 139 – at the European Parliament, 40 – at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and 8 – at the European External Action Service.

Kalniņa-Lukaševica said she was certain that Latvians have learned a lot from the representatives of other countries, including how to maintain contacts with institutions in their home country whilst being loyal and professional members of their employer’s team, according to a release about the event from the Foreign Ministry. 

The Parliamentary Secretary highlighted an initiative already launched by the European Latvian Association – networking events for diaspora professionals in various fields, including the medical and financial sectors.

The informal cooperation forum is took place in the run-up to the European Latvian Congress taking place July 28-30 in Riga and Stockholm - and on a ferry linking the two capitals. The congress is organised by the European Latvian Association with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is the first of its kind. 

According to its Facebook page, the European Latvian Association (ELA) is "an umbrella organisation for Latvian diaspora and associated organisations in Europe, bringing together 21 organisations from 17 European countries, and constantly expanding."

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