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President of Latvia: no one has the right to force civil servants to go against the law or national interests


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President of Latvia Egils Levits firmly believes that no one has the right to demand civils servants to act against the law or the national interests.

This is how President of Latvia Egils Levits has responded to a letter signed by senior civil servants of Latvia, including the Director of State Chancellery and state secretaries of all ministries.  Letter to the President expresses concerns about political persecution of public servants who refuse to follow allegedly illegitimate orders of ministers.

‘A letter signed by all senior public servants is a strong signal. Apparently, what has been going on has raised doubts about transparency and integrity.

Prime Minister must respond immediately and quickly clarify what has caused such concerns.

I believe that the proposal of senior civil servants to create efficient single framework for determining the compliance of actions of state secretaries and senior public officials with civil service standards is welcome.

Illegal attempts to influence civil servants in pursuit of party, political or any other financial interests is utterly unacceptable. On the other hand, ministers should have the liberty and possibility to implement their political objectives and policies put forward by Cabinet of Ministers. I agree with the letter of civil servants and proposal to consider and decide in principle what the best model of relationship between ministers and senior civil servants should be. Such model should be based on national civil service traditions and experience of other European Union member states. After its adoption such model should be implemented consistently.

I am convinced that strong civil service with high governance and rule of law standards is one of the pillars of modern sustainable state.

Government should start addressing better civil service issues as soon as possible,’ said Egils Levits.

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