Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

Public activities

Honorary Titles

An Honorary Doctorate from the Klaipėda University

President Zatlers received an honorary doctorate from the Klaipėda University, on February 11. During the ceremony, the President thanked the university for this honour, stating that it demonstrated the high level of respect which the Klaipėda University has for the Latvian people. The President praised co-operation between the Klaipėda University and the Liepāja University – a process, he said, which is based on the common history of our nations, the heritage of the Courlandian people, the two languages, and the sense of brotherhood between the two nations. President Zatlers said that of key importance in terms of the partnership between the two countries is co-operation in the areas of culture and education, as well as exchanges of students and instructors. The President noted that young trainee actors from the Liepāja Theatre spent two years at the Klaipėda University, as well. In his address, President Zatlers also spoke about the future of the Baltic and Nordic region. He insisted that it is necessary to establish a truly consolidated Baltic-Nordic region – one that would allow us to achieve greater influence in the European Union and NATO.

An Honorary Doctorate from the Rīga Stradiņš University

On September 17, 2010, the Senate of the Rīga Stradiņš University presented an honorary doctorate to Latvian President Valdis Zatlers for his internationally significant and long-term investment in the introduction of innovative and globally recognised methods in orthopaedics, for his work on organising the work of orthopaedists in Latvia, and for his attempts to promote the development of education and the social sciences in the country.  The title of Doctor Honoris Causa was bestowed upon the President because “Valdis Zatlers has played an historical role in Latvian medicine,” the RSU has declared.  “He has been involved in the introduction of several new and unprecedented treatment methods.  He was the first doctor in Latvia to use massive knee entoprostheses.  In his work, Dr Zatlers has always had time not just for his many patients, but also for younger colleagues.  Numerous distinguished traumatologists and orthopaedists in Latvia consider Valdis Zatlers to be their teacher.  As President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers has declared that his vision and goal is a younger generation that is patriotic, aware of its country’s history and responsible for their country.  Our university’s faculty, too, seek to contribute more than narrowly specialised knowledge, and in this work, the goals of the President and of the university coincide.”

Honorary Member of the University of Latvia

On September 28, 2009, at a ceremonial meeting held by the Senate of the University of Latvia to commemorate the institution’s 90th anniversary, President Valdis Zatlers received the title of Honorary Member of the University.  In his address, the President said that it is important to demonstrate respect and honour in any other society:  “When demonstrating respect to someone, we bow before that person.  By demonstrating honour, we also create an obligation.  I am deeply honoured and thank the senators for the honour that they have bestowed upon me, and I promise that I will do honest work in the name of the University of Latvia.”



Protector of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

On October 15, 2009, President Zatlers received a diploma as protector of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA) from the president of the academy, Felix Unger.  The President thus became one of eight protectors of the academy.  Others include the president of Austria, the president of Slovakia, the king of Spain, the crown prince of Belgium, the grand duke of Luxembourg, the president of Greece, and the president of Slovenia.  All of these leaders have promised to support science in their own countries and in Europe.  Former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was a protector of the academy while she was in office.  Others who have held the position (40 in all) include distinguished politicians and statesmen such as Helmut Kohl, Arpád Göncz, Vaclav Havel, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi.



An Honorary Doctorate from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

On November 27, 2009, President Zatlers received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland.  The doctorate was awarded to the President after a unanimous vote by the university’s Senate.  Senators declared that the president is an outstanding physician, a public activist, an independent politician, and a head of state who is concerned about his citizens and promotes Latvia’s particular role among the members states of the European Union.  In thanking the university for the honour, the President said that “in accepting this honorary doctorate, I also accept a confirmation of the university’s high respect for the people of Latvia.”



An Honorary Doctorate from the Yerevan State University

On December 10, 2009, President Zatlers received an honorary doctorate from the Yerevan State University in Armenia.  In his address at the university, the President spoke to its students:  “Your desire to learn, your values and your dedication in serving your country – all of these will determine Armenia’s future.  The future of your country will not be determined by its size, its geographic location, or its neighbours.  You will be the ones who will determine the future of the country.  Your values will determine Armenia’s development over the next decades, and it will be you who will ensure closer links between Latvia and Armenia by making use of the vast advantages which our modern world provides.”



An Honorary Professorship at the National Governance Academy of Kazakhstan

While on a state visit to Kazakhstan, on October 3, 2008, President Zatlers received an honorary professorship at the country’s National Governance Academy. He delivered a lecture and chaired a discussion with instructors and students at the academy, emphasising the key role of knowledge and freely accessible information in the development of any country: “This academy trains the next leaders of your country – people who will represent Kazakhstan in the East and the West. Information and knowledge are of great importance. You must not be afraid of the world – be open and feel secure. Knowledge allows you to feel like leaders in your country without losing your identity, your values or your traditions.”