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RIGA - On 27 December, the “2x2 World Latvian Youth Winter Seminar” was launched at Strazde parish, Talsi rural municipality. This is the first time that the event is held in winter. The seminar organised by the Nodibinājums 2x2 foundation is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and brings together 50 young people from abroad and Latvia providing them with the opportunity to discuss topics of interest with their peers as well as politicians, businessmen, economists, musicians, artists and athletes.
As she opened the seminar, the Counsellor for the Diaspora at the Planning Group of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vija Buša, stressed the importance of creating links between Latvians worldwide so that they, young people in particular, could find inspiration for building a successful and strong future for Latvia.
The attendees also heard a presentation on the initiatives and activities run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in support of the Latvian diaspora. Since one of the priorities in foreign policy is cooperation with Latvian communities abroad aimed at strengthening their national identity and a closer link with Latvia, the diaspora policy planning documents are currently being drafted for 2019 and 2020. In times of increasing mobility, when many people move and settle beyond the borders of their homeland, the state of Latvia is interested in setting up a clear and predictable long-term relationship with its diaspora.
In view of the current population dynamics, one of the key tasks is to achieve a demographic balance in the country, which includes attracting young people to Latvia after they have completed their studies in foreign countries or have chosen to work abroad. Youth activity is of vital importance in the migration process when it comes to encouraging youths to stay in Latvia or to return home after they have graduated from a school in another country, and successfully integrate into the labour market and society.
The 2x2 movement originated in the 1960s in the USA and brought together émigré Latvians, but since 2015 the 2x2 youth camps have been held in Latvia.