Latvia

   

Social Policies

#32
Key Findings
With a mixed safety-net record, Latvia scores relatively poorly overall (rank 32) with regard to social policies. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.1 point since 2014.

Education reform has been a key government focus. Schools are being consolidated, and a curriculum reform is underway, and minority-language schools are being phased out. Teachers’ salaries are low, and high retirement rates are a concern. The poverty rate is quite high, with social-protection spending below the European average. The small guaranteed minimum income has been increased.

The universal single-payer health care system is being transformed into an insurance-based system, with full services available to those paying social-security contributions, along with children and pensioners, and reduced services available to others. Parental-leave benefits are generous, and the employment rate among women is above the EU average.

Pension benefits are low, with retiree poverty a serious problem. Integration policies for migrants and refugees are undeveloped. Some politicians are calling for legislation strengthening the importance of the Latvian language in the private sector. Crime rates are low.

Education

#23

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
5
Latvia has a relatively well-educated population and performs reasonably well in international comparisons, such as PISA. The 2015-2018 PISA results show that performance in the most significant indicators is now at the OECD average or below.

Key challenges to the education system include a shrinking population, a high rate of early retirement among teachers and a level of public funding significantly lower than the OECD average. Furthermore, around 45% of primary to upper secondary school teachers are at least 50 years old in Latvia. Consequently, a large number of teachers will retire over the next decade. In addition, teachers’ salaries remain low, which – paired with the aging teacher population – constitutes a future challenge. Some steps were taken in 2018 to increase the minimum wage for teachers (from €680 to €710 per month), but longer term plans remain unclear.

While being successful in making upper secondary education nearly universal (88% of adults have attained an upper secondary level of education), Latvia lags behind other OECD countries in vocational education. In contrast, access to tertiary education has expanded remarkably in the recent decades. The proportion of 25 to 34 year olds having attained a level of tertiary education (i.e., a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification) increased from 26% in 2007 to 42% in 2017. Incentives such as better employment prospects remain a strong driving force for young people, as 87% of tertiary educated 25 to 34 year-olds were employed in Latvia in 2017.

When it comes to enrollment rates, Latvia has seen a large increase in early years education. The enrollment rate of three and four year olds increased between 2005 and 2016, from 66% to 89% and from 73% to 93% respectively, which is larger than the average across OECD countries. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2016, incoming international student mobility almost doubled in Latvia, which again is high relative to other OECD countries.

Latvia has exceeded the EU 2020 education target of 40% of 30 to 34 year olds holding a university-level qualification. The IMF has, however, warned that the current system is unsustainable due to a disproportionately high number of institutions, limited financing and falling student numbers. Similarly, in 2017, the Bank of Latvia recommended a drastic reduction in the number of higher-education institutions, from 56 to 20, as well as a reduction in the number of study programs, from over 900 to less than 500. There is some evidence that the process of downsizing the large body of higher education institutions has begun. For example, the Riga Pedagogical Academy was recently merged with the University of Latvia. In addition, steps were taken to close a number of rural schools.

In general, education reform has been high on the government’s agenda. The total number of general education schools has dropped from 824 in 2014/2015 to 790 in 2016/2017, while the number of vocational schools has dropped from 63 to 51 over the same period. Further consolidation of the school system is planned. The process of consolidation aims to simultaneously reduce expenditure, and increase school size and quality at the secondary school level, particularly in Latvia’s rural regions where schools are often unsustainably small with poor educational outcomes. However, these reforms are opposed by local governments, which fear the loss of jobs that accompany school closures.


A significant curriculum reform has been underway, and was to be implemented on a rolling basis between 2018 and 2022. In 2018, after heated discussions in the parliament, it was agreed that most of the planned changes will only be introduced fully from September 2020.

Finally, as part of the educational reforms, Latvia has continued working on gradually phasing out minority schools. Amendments to the Law on Education and the Law on General Education, which will gradually make Latvian the principle language of instruction in secondary schools by the 2021/22, were approved by the parliament and proclaimed by the president of Latvia in 2018. Though the amendments also maintain support for state-funded education in minority languages at primary school level and support for teaching in minority languages for subjects related to national minorities’ culture and history at secondary school level.

Citations:
1. IMF (2018) Republic of Latvia: Selected Issues, Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2018/09/05/Republic-of-Latvia-Selected-Issues-46207 , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

2. OECD (2018), Education at a Glance: Latvia, Available at: http://gpseducation.oecd.org/Content/EAGCountryNotes/LVA.pdf, Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

3. OECD (2017) Education Policy Outlook: Country Profile – Latvia. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/education/Education-Policy-Outlook-Country-Profile-Latvia.pdf. , Last assessed 29.12.2018

4. Freedom House (2018), Nations in Transit 2018, Country Profile - Latvia, Available at: https://freedomhouse.org/report/nations-transit/2018/latvia , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

5. Ministry of Education and Science (2018). Information on Transition to Studying in the State Language, Available at: http://www.izm.gov.lv/en/highlights/2762-information-regarding-the-transition-to-instruction-in-the-state-language-in-general-education-institutions-offering-education-programmes-for-minorities , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

Social Inclusion

#32

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
5
While economic growth and stabilization is evidenced by some economic and social indicators (such as poverty rates), the depth of the 2008 – 2010 economic crisis and persistence of high unemployment rates have until very recently had a lasting impact on citizens’ welfare and quality of life. Latvia has one of the highest levels of income disparity among EU member states, with a Gini index of 34.5 in 2018, still one of the largest in the European Union. This situation has been exacerbated by policy decisions that favored rapid economic recovery at the cost of social-security provision for at-risk population groups.

In 2017, a new progressive tax rate has been adopted, effective in 2018, along with other measures aimed at reducing the tax burden on low-wage earners.

Latvia’s economic-recovery package included policies to address poverty and unemployment. The social safety net includes a guaranteed minimum income (GMI) program addressing the needs of unemployed people and at-risk population groups. The minimum GMI benefit has since been increased, but responsibility for financing the program has been transferred from central to local government. This has undermined the program’s financial sustainability, and as the economy has recovered, a gradual phase-out is being considered. However, the GMI benefit remains in place. The benefit was €49.80 per month from 2013 until 2018, when it was increased to €53 per month.

The high emigration rate serves as a major indicator of marginalization and the lack of opportunity. A total of 275,131 people left Latvia between 2006 and 2016. Moreover, recent research shows that the emigrants are on average better educated than those who have stayed. The annual emigration rate is falling, however. This massive emigration, coupled with a high mortality rate and low birth rate, has led to a 12% decline in population over the past 10 years, the second-largest decline in the European Union. In 2012, a governmental working group was charged with devising policies to encourage emigrants to return to Latvia. The working group’s report, Proposals for Measures to Support Remigration, was approved by parliament on 29 January 2013. The report recommended: the provision of relevant information to potential returnees using a single one-stop website, including labor market information; a focus on attracting a highly skilled workforce; the provision of Latvian-language training when necessary; engaging in active cooperation with the diaspora (especially regarding development of business relationships); and the provision of support for students and school-aged children returning to the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed an ambassador-at-large to support and promote these initiatives. A 2016 review of the implementation of this plan concluded that it has been only partially implemented due to severe underfunding. For example, in 2016 only €596,400 were allocated to all remigration activities, significantly below the planned €1.2 million.

Finally, Latvia’s poverty rate is one of the highest in the European Union and OECD. While unemployment has been declining, it disproportionately affects the low-skilled and young. Social protection spending is below the European average, and areas such as housing and social exclusion are underfunded.

Citations:
1. IMF (2018) Republic of Latvia: Selected Issues, Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2018/09/05/Republic-of-Latvia-Selected-Issues-46207 , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

2. Central Statistical Bureau, Database, Available at: http://data.csb.gov.lv
Ministry of Economy (2013), Re-emigration Plan, Report and Supporting Documents, Available at: http://www.em.gov.lv/em/2nd/?cat=30791 , Last assessed: 20.05.2013 (Link discontinued)

Updated report (in Latvian) on the Re-emigration Plan available at: https://www.mfa.gov.lv/tautiesiem-arzemes/atgriesanas-latvija , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

3. Inta Mierina (2015), Latvijas Emigrantu Kopienas: Ceribu Diaspora. LU: Riga. Available at: https://www.lu.lv/fileadmin/user_upload/lu_portal/zinas/2016/FSI_Ceribu_diaspora_pub.pdf, Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

4. Mihails Hazans (2016), Atgriešanās Latvijā: remigrantu aptaujas rezultāti. Available at: https://www.diaspora.lu.lv/fileadmin/user_upload/lu_portal/projekti/diaspora/petijumi/Atgriesanas_Latvija_-_petijuma_zinojums.pdffpdf. Last assessed 29.12.2018

Health

#41

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
4
In 2016, an OECD review stated that the health care system in Latvia broadly delivers effective and efficient care considering its severe underfunding and a higher level of demand compared to most OECD countries. Universal population coverage, highly qualified medical staff, the innovative use of physician’s assistants have been noted as positive aspects of the current health care system in Latvia. However, substantial challenges remain, including disproportionately high out-of-pocket expenses (one in five people report foregoing health care due to cost), and long waiting times for key diagnostic and treatment services. Mortality rates for men, women and children are higher than in most EU member states. Latvia also lags behind in the development of evidence-based reform proposals.

The economic crisis in 2008 resulted in a dramatic decrease in public funding for health care. The crisis gave impetus to structural reforms, which aimed to reduce costs, for example, by shifting from hospital to outpatient care. Furthermore, the introduction of e-health and IT solutions began in 2017, albeit after a considerable delay. The new system has come under heavy criticism and the requirement to use the system was one of the factors contributing to a general practitioners strike in 2017.

Over the course of 2016 and 2017 there have been many personnel changes in the upper management levels of the health care system. High turnover in senior management positions within the ministry and health care agencies raises concerns about consistency and institutional memory within the system.

The main challenge for health care policies remains low public spending – around 10% of public spending is allocated to health care, compared to an average of about 15% in EU member states and OECD countries. This limits access to quality and timely care.

Until recently, Latvia had universal health care insurance and a single-payer system financed through general taxation. However, health care reforms were introduced in 2017 (with a planned transition period in 2018) to address the issues highlighted. This comprehensive health care reform aims to introduce a health care insurance component and to separate the provision of public health services into two “baskets,” specifically a full basket available to persons paying social security contributions or defined as vulnerable (e.g., children and pensioners) and a “minimum basket” that provides a reduced set of health care services to people who do not pay social security contributions. Although the health care reform can be seen as timely, it has stalled. Its success in improving the quality and availability of health care services will depend on how efficiently the resources are used.

Citations:
1. IMF (2018) Republic of Latvia: Selected Issues, Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2018/09/05/Republic-of-Latvia-Selected-Issues-46207 , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

2. OECD (2018), Spending on Health: Latest Trends, Available at: http://www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/Health-Spending-Latest-Trends-Brief.pdf , Last assessed: 29.12.2018

3. European Commission (2018) ESPN Flash report: Changing the funding of the Latvian compulsory healthcare system: for better or for worse?, Available at: ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=18722&langId=en; Last assessed: 29.12.2018

4. European Comission, State of Health in the EU: Latvia. Country Health profile 2017. Available at: https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/latvia-country-health-profile-2017_9789264283466-en#page1 , Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

5. OECD (2016). OECD Reviews of Health Systems.Latvia 2016. OECD Publishing, Paris. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264262782-en, Last assessed: 29.12.2018.

Families

#18

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
7
Family-support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market. In 2016, 74.5% of mothers with at least one child aged six and under were employed, which is above the OECD-31 average of 67.7%.

A maximum of 112 calendar days of maternity leave can be taken, with mothers receiving 80% of their average wage. Paternity benefits are paid for a maximum 10 days at 80% of fathers’ average wage, with paternity leave taken within two months of the child’s birth.

Furthermore, parental leave of up to 18 months per child can be used by either parent prior to the child’s eighth birthday. Parents with three or more children are entitled to three extra days of paid leave per year, as well as other social benefits such as reduced fares on public transport. As of 2017, 10 days of parental leave are available to parents of adopted children.

Labor law prohibits an employer from terminating an employment contract with a pregnant woman or a mother with a baby under one year old.

Local government support for private sector involvement in child care should address the shortage of available kindergarten places, although this financial support is likely to be cut as local authorities’ fiscal health declines further.

Citations:
1. European Commission (2016), Employment Rates by Sex, Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/lfs/data/database, Last assessed: 02.01.2019

2. OECD (2016), Family Database, Available at: http://www.oecd.org/els/family/database.htm#labour_market, Last assessed: 02.01.2019

Pensions

#40

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
4
The state pension system guarantees a monthly minimum pension. The amount of the monthly pension is dependent on the recipient’s years of service, but is at least equal to or larger than the state social-security benefit of €70, though less than half the 2018 monthly minimum wage of €430. However, where the amount of an individual’s monthly pension is below the minimum wage, the recipient qualifies for public assistance. The average monthly pension in 2017 was €289.40. According to the Central Statistics Bureau, the at-risk-of-poverty rate among retired persons continues to grow rapidly, reaching 44.2% in 2016 compared to 38.1% in 2015 and 27.6% in 2013.

Two types of mandatory pension schemes exist in Latvia: a non-financial (notional) contribution (pay-as-you-go) and a funded contribution. There are also voluntary private pension funds that are complementary to the mandatory schemes. Jointly, these constitute a three-pillar pension system, which has increased the system’s fiscal sustainability and intergenerational equity.

The European Commission Fiscal Sustainability Report 2012 concluded that the notional defined contribution system had low sustainability risks, given its expected reliance on funds raised through the second pillar.

The second pillar mandatory funded pension scheme has come under criticism for excessive fees. An independent private start-up fund has emerged, offering substantially lower commissions and favorable terms. Legislators have taken interest and draft legislation is under consideration as of 2018 to limit bank commissions and fees levied for managing the mandatory funded pension scheme.

In a 2018 report, OECD highlighted the need for Latvia to strengthen the social safety net for elderly people, and raise the basic state pension in order to reduce poverty among pensioners (especially among women) and address the challenge of a rapidly declining population. Latvia’s old-age poverty rate is the second highest in the OECD – more than 25% of people aged 65 and over have an income below the relative poverty line. The basic pension level is very low and has not risen in nominal terms for more than a decade.

The report also criticized Latvia’s three-pillar system and specifically the NDC schemes, because they automatically adjust to changes in the size of the labor force and life expectancy. Consequently, if these are not matched with an adjustment in retirement age, the future replacement rates will remain below the OECD average. The report also noted that Latvia’s shrinking labor force lowers the internal returns of pay-as-you-go pensions and that the default option in the mandatory scheme is only appropriate for very risk-averse individuals, not the entire population.

However, the tax reform of 2017/2018 signals a willingness to address some of the problems in the system. The tax reform introduces a progressive taxation of personal income, including pensions. In addition, the non-taxable minimum is higher for pensioners (€235 per month in 2017 up to €300 per month in 2020) than for the working age population (€75 per month in 2017 up to €250 per month in 2020). In 2018, the indexing of pensions also became more favorable for those with longer social contribution records.

Nevertheless, even with the amendments, the pension indexing system remains complex and many of the issues identified by the European Union and OECD remain – further reforms are urgently needed, especially with regard to poverty reduction.

Citations:
1. Ministry of Welfare (2017). Review of state funded pension system (in Latvian). Available at: https://www.vsaa.gov.lv/pakalpojumi/stradajosajiem/2-pensiju-limenis/parskati-par-valsts-fondeto-pensiju-shemas-darbibu/. Last assessed 30.12.2018

2. Central Statistical Bureau, Database, Available at: http://data.csb.gov.lv

3. OECD (2018) Review of the Pension System in Latvia, Available at: https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/oecd-reviews-of-pension-systems-latvia_9789264289390-en#page13, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

4. The State Social Insurance Agency (2018) Pensions in 2018 (in Latvian), Available at: https://www.vsaa.gov.lv/jaunakas-zinas/pensijas-2018-gada/ Last assessed: 30.12.2018

Integration

#15

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
5
On 11 October 2011, Latvia adopted the Guidelines on National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy (2012 – 2018), which set policy goals for achieving a more inclusive and cohesive society. The guidelines include new policy proposals, increased governmental support and improved institutional arrangements. However, in 2015, Latvia ranked second-to-last among 38 European and North American countries in the Migrant Integration Policy Index. The index noted that Latvia still has the weakest policies among EU member states. The same year, Latvia convened a working group charged with creating a coherent policy for accepting and integrating a larger number of refugees as part of a burden-sharing process reflecting the broader European refugee crisis.


Latvia faces challenges in integrating two particular categories of immigrants: migrant workers and non-citizens. Non-citizens are long-term residents of Latvia who were not eligible for citizenship when Latvia gained independence from the Soviet Union and have not been naturalized since independence. Non-citizens comprise 11.43% of the total population.


The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs indicates that there are 89,023 migrant workers (i.e., individuals holding either a temporary or permanent residence permit) in Latvia. Migrant workers comprise 4.5% of the total population. Since July 2010, Latvia has granted temporary residence permits to investors meeting monetary investment targets (15,820 temporary residence permits were issued between 2010 and 2015). In September 2014, parliament doubled the minimum investment required to attain a temporary residence permit resulting in a significant drop in demand for these types of permits.

Rights for immigrants depend on the type of residency permit. Individuals holding a temporary residency permit are particularly vulnerable, as they do not qualify for public health care, legal aid or unemployment support. An individual holding a permanent residency permit or who has acquired long-term resident status within the European Union has the same rights as Latvian non-citizens. As of March 2010, all children, including children of migrant workers holding temporary residence permits, have access to free education. No restrictions are placed on the right to work for high-skilled migrant workers, foreign students or immigrants who have moved for family reasons. However, access to the local labor market is restricted for migrant workers who have obtained only a temporary residence permit. These individuals’ work rights are tied to the employer who invited them to Latvia. Temporary migrant workers do not have the ability to freely change employers or their position within the company.

Access to the labor market also depends on language proficiency, as a certain level of language skill is required by law for many professions. This is true of state and local government institutions as well as commercial companies in which the majority of capital shares are publicly owned. Moreover, in late 2017, politicians from the National Alliance party called for legislation to strengthen the importance of the Latvian language in the private (primarily service) sector.

In May 2013, Latvia adopted changes to its citizenship law that legalized dual citizenship with 38 countries. This will enable some permanent residents to retain their current citizenship if they choose to apply for Latvian citizenship.

Legislative obstacles restrict the ability of immigrants to participate in society. Migrants do not have voting rights in local elections and cannot be members of political associations. Third-country nationals with temporary residence permits cannot organize protests or marches.

In 2017, 395 persons applied for asylum in Latvia. Only 39 were granted refugee status and 259 received alternative status. Most people who were granted protection status were from Syria, Vietnam, Russia, Eritrea and Kazakhstan.

Citations:
1. Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (2017). Statistics – Asylum seekers. Available at: http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/lv/sakums/statistika/patveruma-mekletaji.html. Last assessed 30.12.2018

2. Policy Report: Migration and Asylum in Latvia 2015 (in Latvian). Kitija Kursa. European Migration Network. http://www.emn.lv/wp-content/uploads/LATVIA_FINAL_version_emn_integration_of_beneficiaries_for_international_protection_LV.pdf Last assessed 30.12.2018

3. Policy Brief: Immigration in Latvia. Dace Akule and Indra Mangule, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS (2014), Available at: http://providus.lv/article_files/2633/original/Kopsavilkums_Imigracija_Latvija_EN.pdf?1404807320. Last assessed 30.12.2018

4. Migration Policy Group (2015), Migrant Integration Policy Index, Available at: http://www.mipex.eu/latvia, Last assessed: 30.12.2018.

5. Guidelines on National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy (2012 – 2018), Available at (in Latvian): http://www.likumi.lv/doc.php?id=238195, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

5. The Saeima (2018), The Role of Immigration in Labour Security in Latvia (in Latvian), Available at: http://www.saeima.lv/petijumi/Imigracijas_loma_darbaspeka_nodrosinajums_Latvija-2018_aprilis.pdf, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

Safe Living

#27

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Internal Security Policy
9
The Ministry of Interior, state police, security police, state fire and rescue Service, state border guard, and Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs are responsible for domestic security policy. They collaborate on some policy issues, notably on immigration policy.

In 2016, 45,639 crimes were registered, which was a 3.7% decrease from 2015. In 2017, the number fell further, reaching 44,250 or 229.1 crimes per 10,000 people. In 2017, 61% of the recorded crimes were classified as relatively mild and approximately one third were categorized as serious.

Despite international developments, the threat of terrorism is low. There have been no criminal offenses associated with terrorism. In late 2015, the security police started a criminal investigation into alleged participation in the military conflict in Syria. One conviction has followed, carrying a four-year prison sentence. In 2016, two criminal investigations for terrorism threats were launched, another for inciting terrorism and four for participation in foreign armed conflicts.

Opinion polls from 2016 indicate that public trust in the police continues to rise and more people feel safe (74% of respondents report feeling safe or rather safe).

Citations:
1. Research center SKDS (2018), Attitude Toward the State Police, Available at (in Latvian): http://petijumi.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/title_file/Valsts_policija_Petijums_2018_Attieskme_pret_Valsts_policiju_0.pdf, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

2. Central Statistical Bureau, Database, Available at: http://data.csb.gov.lv, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

3. Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, Latvia 2018 - Statistics in brief, Available at:https://www.csb.gov.lv/sites/default/files/publication/2018-05/Nr%2003%20Latvia_Statistics%20in%20Brief%202018%20%2818_00%29%20EN.pdf, Last assessed: 30.12.2018.

3. Latvian Security Police (2018) Counterterrorism, Available at: https://www.dp.gov.lv/en/areas-of-activity/counterterrorism/#Threat%20level, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

4. Latvian State Police (2018) Infographic on Crime in Latvia (2017), Available at: https://lvportals.lv/skaidrojumi/293502-noziegumi-latvija-2017-gada-2018, Last assessed: 30.12.2018.

Global Inequalities

#39

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
3
As a result of government austerity programs, funding for bilateral development cooperation was reduced to a minimum between 2009 and 2011. This reduction has meant that Latvia’s ability to directly contribute to efforts to tackle global social inequalities has been negligible. In 2016, Latvia’s official development assistance (ODA) expenditure was €19 million or 0.08% of GNI, down from €21 million or 0.21% GNI in 2015. Latvia has adopted a multi-year ODA strategy, which foresees increasing contributions to 0.33% of GNI by 2020.

Bilateral development cooperation focuses on the three top-priority countries of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Citations:
1. State Development Cooperation Policy Plan (2016 – 2020), Available at (in Latvian): http://www.likumi.lv/ta/id/284775-par-attistibas-sadarbības-politikas-pamatnostadnem-2016-2020-gadam. Last assessed: 30.12.2018.
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