Egils Levits
Valsts prezidents un jaunieši diskutē

President of Latvia Egils Levits will continue the series of debates ‘#Satversme100: future values’, which mark the centenary year of Latvia’s constitution, Satversme, with the fourth discussion with young people from Saldus on 27 September. Discussion between President Levits and youngsters will focus on the way we perceive terms like ‘choice’, ‘rights’ and ‘duties’ defined in Satversme.

The fourth discussion of the series – ‘One of 1.8 million: does my vote count? Participation: choice, right or duty?’ – will take place in Saldus Music and Art School. It will be livestreamed on portal at 13:30-15:00, as well as the Presidential Chancery webpage and President Levits’ YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The debate will be moderated by journalist Jānis Krēvics. Musical entertainment will be provided by Lauris Valters.

According to Article 101 of Satversme, ‘every citizen of Latvia has the right, as provided for by law, to participate in the work of the State and of local government, and to hold a position in the civil service’. So, how do we interpret ‘right’ in this context? Does this right give us broad discretion and freedom of choice? Article 2 says ‘the sovereign power of the State of Latvia is vested in the people of Latvia’. What kind of duties does that imply for us as citizens? Preamble of Satversme, in turn, requires people of Latvia to protect their sovereignty, national independence, territory, territorial integrity and democratic system of government of the State of Latvia. What is our individual responsibility for protecting these values?

President of Latvia will be joined for discussion on these and other issues by eight youngsters: Madara Zadovska (Year 10, Druva Secondary School), Gvido Mēteris (Year 11, Druva Secondary School), Ance Edele (Year 10, Saldus Secondary School), Giorgia Chang Zhang (Year 11, Exupery International School), Niklāvs Bašķis (Year 4, Saldus Vocational School), Aleksandrs Fadeičevs (Brocēni Secondary School), Evelīna Kronberga (Year 9, Saldus Secondary School) and Kristiāns Priedītis (Year 11, Brocēni Secondary School).

Debate series ‘#Satversme100: future values’ is an important step towards empowering young people to take more active stake in shaping Latvia’s future. The aim of the debate is to help young people formulate their views, engage in conversations and listen to other views about issues important for all. Series of conversations about legal dilemmas of Satversme will continue throughout the year and take place in all regions: Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale, Kurzeme and Sēlija. The kick-off debate took place on 15 February 2022 at the Riga Castle. The closing event will take place in February of 2023, in Riga.

Debate will be recorder to create a summary of findings and outcomes that will then be integrated into all types of learning and information sources.

Videos of previous debates: kick-off debate on 15 February at the Riga Castle (video), second debate in Daugavpils on 5 April  (video), third debate in Valmiera on 6 May (video).

Series of discussions are organised by Presidential Chancery and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, NGO Quo Tu domā? and European Movement Latvia.