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Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

Annual Report 2010

Dialogue with the people of Latvia

In taking his oath of office, President Zatlers affirmed that he would work on behalf of the people of Latvia. Ongoing dialogue with local residents has been a key part of his work. In 2010, the President met with representatives of different groups of residents. This has allowed him to learn about issues in Latvia’s regions, the views of local residents about political, economic and social processes in the country, and proposals related to Latvia’s development. The President uses the information that he receives in this way in his work. He discusses the information with the prime minister, other representatives of government, members of professional associations, as well as the commissions which operate under the wing of the Presidential Chancery.
 
During the course of 2010, President Zatlers met with representatives of 28 NGOs, including the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economists Association 2010, the Latvian Medical Association, the Federation of Pensioners, the Association of Large Cities, etc. The President also continued the dialogue with businesspeople which he launched last year. There were several meetings with entrepreneurs to talk about ways of promoting Latvian exports, about plans for the President’s official visit to Russia and the visit to Latvia of the Ukrainian president, as well as about consolidation of the national budget.

 

 

In order to learn more about regional issues, President Zatlers visited 33 cities and towns in Latvia last year. Twelve of these were broader regional visits. The 100th visit paid by the President to a city or town in Latvia occurred in Ventspils in celebration of the city’s festival. The President has visited all of Latvia’s larger cities, as well as 66 (61%) of the country’s administrative district.

 

The President also communicates with the people of Latvia indirectly. In 2010, the administration’s homepage, www.president.lv, was modernised and made more user friendly. People can write to the President via the homepage. Since March 2010, the people of Latvia and of other countries have been able to monitor President Zatlers’ activities on YouTube, where there is an official video gallery. The President also began active use of Twitter last year, and over the course of the past half-year, 4,198 users of the social network have become his followers (there are 10,000 active Twitter users in Latvia).

 

 

Also in 2010, President Zatlers received 8,986 messages by mail – 3,443 petitions, 2,847 letters, 1,139 E-mails, 29 electronic documents, 703 congratulations on holidays, and 625 invitations to various events. Local residents have expressed their views about events in Latvia and in its society (financial difficulties, social support and the economic situation of the country), as well as about legislative issues. They have asked for legal or financial aid, complained about the work of different institutions, and posed various questions.

 

Over the course of the year, President Zatlers delivered 188 addresses before various audiences.