Legislative Initiatives from the President of Latvia
The President of Latvia presents the draft law “On the Termination of the Granting of Non-citizen Status to Children”
President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis presented on September 12th 2017 the draft law “On the termination of the Granting of Non-citizen Status to Children” to Saeima envisaging the termination of the granting of noncitizen status to the children of noncitizens born after 1 June 2018 and their recognition as citizens of Latvia unless the parents of the child agree to grant the citizenship of another country to the child, and the child is not a citizen of any other country.
In the annotation of the draft law, the President of Latvia states that the adoption of the draft law will promote the further development of a united society based on the common values of the people of Latvia. “Latvia is a democratic and modern European country, and every effort must be made to further develop and strengthen the state of Latvia. The education system in Latvia is capable of preparing and educating decent, honest, and responsible people, who are patriots of Latvia and who have a strong affiliation with the Republic of Latvia,” emphasised Raimonds Vējonis.
He recalls that the status of a non-citizen was introduced as a temporary solution for the transition from an occupied country to an independent Latvia. Following a similar change in legislation in Estonia, new non-citizens are born in Latvia as the only country in Europe, whose status is comparable to the citizens of former USSR, who did not obtain any other citizenship after the collapse of the USSR.
The President of Latvia calls for legislative amendments to arrange the school network
While continuing the reforms initiated in the general education system, it is necessary to improve sectoral regulation to create a legal basis for the arrangement of the school network, as President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis stated during his meeting with Minister of Education and Science Kārlis Šadurskis on Tuesday, 21st of February, 2017.
“The reforms in education are aimed at achieving the state when every child is educated qualitatively regardless of the fact where exactly s/he lives in Latvia. To achieve the competitive quality of education, the available resources must be focused on improving the content of teaching, as well as increasing salaries for teachers. It is therefore necessary to change the existing network of educational establishments by decision-making based on sound, statutory criteria that are understandable to the public,” said Raimonds Vējonis.
The head of state notified that he sent a letter to the Saeima where he proposed to draft amendments to the Law on General Education envisaging that quality indicators of an educational attainment at that specific establishment, population of a municipality, demographic projections, access to education, and national and local interests should be taken into account when reorganizing or terminating an educational establishment.
Proposed legislation of the President of Latvia on the Council for the Judiciary
President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis called for necessary amendments to the law to strengthen the powers, capacity, and management of the Council for the Judiciary in his letter to the Madam Speaker of the Saeima on 14 June 2016. The proposed legislation is based on a report of the Commission for Legal Environment Improvement of the President of Latvia of 24 May 2016 regarding opportunities for improvement of the work of the Council for the Judiciary.
President of Latvia has called on the Saeima to base drafting of similar amendments to the Law “On Judiciary” on the report of the Commission for Legal Environment Improvement. Such amendments to the law would allow the provision of better preconditions for the ability of the Council for the Judiciary to influence the development of the judicial system significantly and would promote certainty of the legal environment and public trust in the judiciary.
The President of Latvia submitted a draft law “Amendments to the National Security Law”
The President of Latvia submitted a draft law “Amendments to the National Security Law” to the Saeima for consideration aimed at improvement of the regulation of action of senior officials and authorities of the state in the event of external threat so that they could prevent threats to independence of the country, its constitutional order and territorial integrity more efficiently. The draft law includes a definition of wartime and states that the Commander in Chief as a legitimate state power body for wartime is only empowered to act if the Cabinet of Ministers is delayed to perform their function due to the reasons caused by national threat and there is an urgent need to adopt appropriate decisions on national defence. Also, the draft law provides that subjects of the national security system cannot be prohibited to execute their duties under the National Security Law to respond to military aggression immediately.
The President submitted a draft law “Amendments to the Law on the National Armed Forces”
The President of Latvia submitted a draft law “Amendments to the Law on the National Armed Forces” to the Saeima for consideration. The amendment aims at ensuring fast and efficient cooperation and exchange of information between the Cabinet of Ministers and management of the National Armed Forces in the event of war or a state of exception to overcome the national threat and eliminate its consequences. The draft law provides that the Commander of the National Armed Forces or his authorised person participates in the meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers in an advisory capacity during a state of war or a state of exception.
The President submitted a draft law “Amendments to the Law on the Structure of the Cabinet of Ministers”
The President of Latvia submitted a draft law “Amendments to the Law on the Structure of the Cabinet of Ministers” to the Saeima for consideration. The amendment to the Law on the Structure of the Cabinet of Ministers will enable to ensure decisive action of the Cabinet of Ministers in the event of a national threat. For dynamic response under situations of national threat and provision of operational flow of information and decision-making, the draft law shall enable the Cabinet of Ministers to make decisions during a state of war or a state of exception if the Prime Minister and at least three other Members of the Cabinet attend the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.