Latvian government accepts public integration program

  • 2001-02-08
  • BNS
RIGA - The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers accepted the national program "Public Integration in Latvia" on Feb.6, Naturalization Administration head Eizenija Aldermane told reporters.

The program's goal is to build a democratic, consolidated civic society based on common main values, she said.

Following the adoption of the government's resolution, Justice Minister Ingrida Labucka told reporters that active work in the Parliament would also be required in the future to finance it.

She said the program was divided into three categories. Category A projects have already been allocated state funding, category B projects required funds but no financing has been granted yet and category C projects required funds but were not considered as priorities.

A draft resolution granting 200,000 lats ($326,000) from the state budget for solving integration problems has already been prepared.

"The Latvian government must promote formation of an integrated community in order to develop democracy, ensure the rule of law, facilitate balanced activities by human rights institutions and protection of rights of ethnic minorities," the program says.

The task force for drafting the public integration program was set up by the government in March 1998. The short version of the program was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in July 2000.

The public integration program drew controversy when left-wing forces claimed that it was unrealistic to help anyone to integrate, that it was just formal paperwork. It took a long time for the ruling coalition to agree which ministry should supervise the integration. Finally it was decided to appoint the Justice Ministry as the supervising authority.