Dear participants of the conference!

I am glad that a forum of this scale is dedicated to the youth, and consequently, to the future of Latvian society. The participation of young people in the future development of the Latvian state and Europe is critical, as is the understanding of democracy and participation in it.

Time imposes its own challenges and tasks on each generation. Latvia's independence, freedom and democracy are values that our ancestors won and preserved in hard battles. We must now build our future on this strong foundation.

Today's youth - born in the 21st century - are the first generation of Latvians who naturally feel that they belong to Europe, Western civilisation and the global world. This generation has a diverse range of opportunities for self-fulfilment and development.

But at the same time, the young generation will determine the trajectory of our country in the near future. Will the new generation grow up to be patriotic citizens of their country or just demanding consumers? Is democratic and civic engagement as self-evident as digital literacy for this generation?

Each and every generation has its own responsibilities. Every generation has its own ideals and dreams that it strives to fulfil. I wish for the new generation to realise that their own country is of extraordinary value. I wish them a deep sense of belonging to Latvia and their nation. It is my hope that they will learn to preserve the distinct identity and peculiarities of our land. For our country’s sake, it is crucial for them to bring their own perspective on how to contribute to Latvia's prosperity and enable it to grow and flourish.

Democracy is and will be an integral part of every citizen’s life, which is why active involvement is necessary. Therefore, I wish the participants of the conference meaningful discussions and fruitful dialogue!