On 3 March 2021, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, at the meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, adopted a Resolution on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Convention) by Latvia.
The Resolution positively evaluates Latvia’s achievements in the field of the integration of society, including the following:
- support for adults seeking to improve their Latvian language skills, as a result of which more than 90% of respondents whose first language is Russian know Latvian.
- broad support for national minority cultural events, which has facilitated maintaining and developing their cultural identity;
- a diverse media environment, with content across a broad spectrum available through traditional and electronic media in languages spoken by national minorities;
- support for national minority educational programmes through continued state funding for national minority education in seven languages (Russian, Belarusian, Estonian, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian); and furthermore, such funding has increased over recent years in view of the higher costs of the educational process and the needs of schools with small numbers of students;
- the diminishing number of “non-citizens”, including due to naturalisation procedures for various groups of society and the granting of Latvian citizenship to all newborns.
At the same time, Latvia has been offered several recommendations in order to ensure national minority rights in a more effective way, including encouragement to continue the integration policy, promote participation of national minorities in social life, work to prevent discrimination against the Roma, improve educational opportunities for young Roma, and other recommendations of an advisory nature.
The adoption of the Resolution concludes the third monitoring cycle concerning the implementation of the Convention in Latvia. The government will continue dialogue with the Council of Europe under the next monitoring cycle, which will begin with the transmission of a State report in the autumn of 2021.
The Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities took effect in Latvia on 1 October 2005, and 39 of 47 of the Council’s member states have currently joined the Convention.
The Council of Ministers is the Council of Europe’s main decision-making body. It is made up of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of all 47 member States. In its daily work, the Council meets at Deputy level, at which the ministers are represented by ambassadors.
Resolution on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Convention) by Latvia.