The Open2Vote.eu platform is an initiative that tries to make it easier for EU citizens from other countries living in Rīga to exercise their right to participate in the life of the local government, including by running in local and European elections.
According to organizers, the language barrier, a lack of information, and missing reliable data on EU citizens residing in municipalities are among the reasons why levels of engagement could be greatly improved.
"Political alienation and under-participation are a direct threat to the democratic principles," publicity material says.
The ManaBalss.lv organization is implementing a pilot project for EU citizens living in Rīga which launches May 20 at 11:00 with the support of the European Commission and in partnership with Swedish NGO Open Knowledge Sweden. It is part of a wider project titled "Open Cities for EU Citizens."
If you want to attend the online event, which will take place in English, you can register here:
The event will take place on the ZOOM platform, and the link to the meeting will be sent to participants the day before the event, and the program is reproduced below.
11:00 - 11:10 "OPEN CITIES FOR EU CITIZENS" opening speech by Imants Breidaks, CEO of ManaBalss
11:10 - 11:20 WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT? - Open2Vote video and demo
11:20 - 12:00 "RIGA STORIES". Socially active expats about the level and quality of social and political engagement in Riga; what should be done better and how.
- Sandra Klavins, co-owner of the Italian restaurant Casa Nostra
- Martin Mitev, captain at airBaltic
- Roberto Meloni, TV host, singer
12:00-12:40 "IS RIGA OPEN TO ALL ITS RESIDENTS?" Expert panel session joined by
- Dr. soc. Inta Mierina, director of the Centre for Diaspora and Migration Research at
the University of Latvia and a Senior Researcher at the University of Latvia's Institute
of Philosophy and Sociology
- Alija Turlaja, member of Riga City Council
- Imants Breidaks, CEO of ManaBalss
- Representative of the Central Election Commission