At the beginning of 2016, President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis established and introduced a new type of deed of recognition – a Certificate of Merit of the President of Latvia to extend gratitude for achievements in favour of the state or population of Latvia.
“Many times I have called for remembering to say thanks to the people around us, appreciate their support, progress, and achievements. Undertaking the initiative as regards this call, I also would like to express my personal gratitude to the outstanding people working selflessly in favour of Latvia. Therefore I decided on establishment and introduction of the certificate of Merit of the President of Latvia,” indicated President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.
The President of Latvia awards the Certificate of Merit of the President of Latvia on his own initiative. It is presented for some specific significant contribution and for long-term contribution for the benefit of the Republic of Latvia and the public of Latvia.
Maestro Raimonds Pauls was the first person, whom President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis presented the Certificate of Merit at his 80th-anniversary concert.
In total, 28 Certificates of Merit of the President of Latvia were presented:
2016: Raimonds Pauls (Composer) and Janis Streičs (Director)
2017: Andris Jaunsleins (Chairperson of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments), Kristaps J. Keggi (Doctor, Professor (USA)), and Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (President of Latvia (1999-2007))
2018: Olga Dreģe (Latvian theatre and cinema actress)
2019: Iveta Apkalna (Organist), Pēteris Vasks (Composer), Riga Dome Choir School, Jānis Peters (Poet), Jānis Volkolākovs (Professor of Heart Surgery Centre of Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital), Romans Lācis (Professor of Surgery Centre of Pauls Stradiņš Hospital), Aris Lācis (Professor of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery), Rūta Muktupāvela (Rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture), Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre, Leonīds Ribickis (Rector of Riga Technical University), Liene Dambiņa (Chairperson of the Children’s Hospital Foundation), Aigars Pētersons (Rector of Riga Stradiņš University), creative team of the broadcast “Gudrs, vēl gudrāks” (Smart, Even Smarter), Indra Lūkina (Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra), Dailes Theatre, team of the initiative “Possible Mission”, Laima Vaikule (Singer), Indriķis Muižnieks (Rector of the University of Latvia), Aivis Mirbahs (Director of the Young Guard and Information Centre, Lieutenant Colonel), creators of the film “Dvēseļu putenis” (The Blizzard of Souls), Māra Lāce (Director of the Latvian National Art Museum), and Valmiera Dramatic Theatre.