RIGA - An effective mechanism must be found to ensure long-term financial support for regional and local media in Latvia, Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said.
On Thursday, Rinkevics met with Minister of Culture Agnese Logina (Progressives) at Riga Castle to discuss the priorities of the minister's work, in particular the current situation with the development of the Latvian Media Policy Guidelines 2023-2027 and support for Latvian regional and local media.
The president expressed his confidence that in the context of growing disinformation and hybrid warfare, it is necessary to provide the inhabitants of Latvia's regions with immediate and high-quality coverage and in-depth analysis of political, economic and cultural events of societal importance.
"Taking into account the specific nature of regional media, especially in the border regions of the country, it is necessary to find an effective mechanism to ensure long-term financial support for Latvian regional and local media," Rinkevics stressed at the meeting.
During the meeting, the president listened to the minister's vision on the commitment included in the National Security Concept to create content in public media only in Latvian and in languages belonging to the European cultural sphere from January 1, 2026.
The parties also discussed the idea of merging public service media. The president raised the issue of how the editorial independence of the public service media would be ensured after the merger and what would be the practical mechanism for monitoring the editorial independence of the merged media.
During the meeting, the president drew the attention of the minister to the fact that Liepaja, as the European Capital of Culture for 2027, has not been allocated state funding for 2024, which will significantly delay the launch of the European Capital of Culture program.
For example, the lack of funding in 2024 will significantly hinder the launch of national and international project competitions, and the establishment of a youth and volunteer program.
Currently, it is impossible for the Liepaja, South Kurzeme and Kuldiga municipalities to secure the full funding for the European Capital of Culture 2027 program solely from their municipal budgets.