On 4 October 2014, Latvia held the parliamentary elections that brought a hope of stability as the ruling coalition government won a comfortable majority. It is likely that the coalition negotiations, also this time, will lead to formation of the so-called minimal wining coalition. However, the parliamentary situation is complicated due to the arrival of two smaller parties on the Latvian political scene.
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In 2004, eight Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and two Mediterranean countries entered the European Union (EU). Hailed by some as the “New Europe”, the CEECs seemed to have finally affirmed their European identity. Ten years later, one is naturally tempted to examine whether the CEECs’ EU membership has indeed made them more “European”.
The Channel Island of Guernsey was among the first places for Latvians to look for work abroad after the mid-1990s. Over time, an emerging culture of migration has developed on Guernsey among the Latvians.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the deportees’ memoirs in the revision of the history of deportations, especially since the memoirs were collected in different ways in the different countries.
The Baltic countries have a larger percentage of people in prison than any other EU member state. The reason? A persistent Soviet legacy that decress criminals should be locked up.
RIGA’S MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS AND THE ELECTION TO THE PARLIAMENT OF THE NON-REPRESENTED: LATVIA’S ETHNIC POLITICS AT A CROSSROADS?
The elections to the Parliament of the Non-Represented, a grassroots non-citizens’ initiative, took place at the same time as the residents of Riga were called to vote for a new City Council. Looking at these two very different June elections it is clear that the post-ethnic Latvia hailed by Harmony Center/GKR’s members is still far to come. The ethnic card, far from being obsolete, is still used for electoral purposes.
The diverse mosaic of urban experiences in Prague, Riga, Belgrade, and Tirana is related to major drivers of change in the economic, social, and institutional environment. In mapping an analytical terrain for this comparative study, the “socialist city” is taken as the primary point of departure. One set of influences represents the outcomes associated with the transition to markets, democracy, and decentralized government.
The expert seminar "Labor migration in the Baltic Sea Countries: Trends and prospects" April 25, took a closer look at migration-related challenges. Export of labor and lose of younger people are worrying problems for the Baltic States, noted key-note speaker professor Charles Woolfson. Other problems mentioned on the seminar were the labor migrants’ vulnerable situation, and the growing amount of abandoned children.
The crucial matter of creating a Latvian “national” university in the aftermath of World War I may be seen as an example of the way this new nation was structured in both symbolic and practical terms. This academic institution provided an arena for rewriting the nation’s past history and recreating its folklore customs — both essential to Latvian culture.
In order to ascend another rung on the development ladder, all three Baltic countries are engaged in higher education reform. Latvia has the furthest to go.