Open Data and Political Integrity in the Nordic Region
Corruption Perceptions Index
Integrity Watch LV

Public consultation concluded with 16 opinions from various stakeholders – non-governmental and business organizations and public bodies.

DELNA’S OPINION ABOUT INTEREST REPRESENTATION IN LATVIA

See Delna’s announcement »

“The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia”

For more than 22 years, Delna, the Latvian chapter of Transparency International, has fought against corruption and supported transparency. This is a complicated endeavour, and we have managed to make great progress: contributed to shedding light on party financing in Latvia; limited opportunities for potential conflicts of interest; advocated for adoption of a new whistleblowing system and support to whistleblowers etc. Issues that we have dealt with have been solved by adopting the required legal acts, and we have educated the public about opportunities to influence and monitor political and public processes in Latvia. However, our fight for transparency is far from over.
Streamlining of lobbying processes in Latvia will be one of our future priorities, and will continue to provide insights into lobbying or interest protection and educate the public about the need to streamline this area.
Why is it important? In democratic societies, lobbying ensures political pluralism and gives various societal groups an opportunity to have their voices heard. We explained the role of lobbying and its opportunities during 11 December 2020 conference on regulation of lobbying in Latvia. Delna organised the conference “The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia” in collaboration with the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee of the Saeima and the State Chancery.
Quite often during the conference, we heard that lobbying or representation of interest groups as we like to call it in Latvia is a normal democratic process. Rightly so. At the national and regional level, various societal groups should have a right to express their opinions about political decisions that affect their lives. Politicians also need to be aware of public opinions to ensure that decisions are made for the benefit of the majority and achieve the expected target.
One of the main problems preventing lobbying from being regulated in Latvia was a lack of agreement among various societal groups about the definition of lobbying and the parties to whom the respective legal framework should apply. Thus, creation of a lobbying group at the Saeima in 2019 was a very welcome step forward, and this group has already started developing the scope of the new law and progressed towards its adoption. This gives all of us an opportunity to exchange views and make these good intentions a reality.
This is the right time for those of us who protect specific interests and who will be made subject to the new law to sit down and discuss the principles of the potential new framework for it to hit the target. It is our homework and our duty: we have to participate in drafting the law and express our opinion to facilitate a more responsible decision-making in our country.
Other European countries like Ireland and Lithuania have demonstrated that even in complicated circumstances a proper legal framework for lobbying is not an impossible mission. Furthermore, international organizations such as Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have done an excellent job in identifying the best practices and expanding the basic regulatory principles applicable to lobbying that may be adopted in any country irrespective of the political system. These bodies stand ready to provide their vision about the most appropriate statutory scope to the Latvian public.
We invite all members of the public to read documents and watch videos from conference “The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia”, get an insight in the progress of Latvia in drafting this legal framework, and listen to the opinions and recommendations of conference speakers.
We will use this opportunity and make progress towards greater transparency of political processes in Latvia.

Inese Tauriņa
Director, Delna — Transparency International Latvia

DELNA’S OPINION ABOUT INTEREST REPRESENTATION IN LATVIA

See Delna’s announcement »

“The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia”

For more than 22 years, Delna, the Latvian chapter of Transparency International, has fought against corruption and supported transparency. This is a complicated endeavour, and we have managed to make great progress: contributed to shedding light on party financing in Latvia; limited opportunities for potential conflicts of interest; advocated for adoption of a new whistleblowing system and support to whistleblowers etc. Issues that we have dealt with have been solved by adopting the required legal acts, and we have educated the public about opportunities to influence and monitor political and public processes in Latvia. However, our fight for transparency is far from over.
Streamlining of lobbying processes in Latvia will be one of our future priorities, and will continue to provide insights into lobbying or interest protection and educate the public about the need to streamline this area.
Why is it important? In democratic societies, lobbying ensures political pluralism and gives various societal groups an opportunity to have their voices heard. We explained the role of lobbying and its opportunities during 11 December 2020 conference on regulation of lobbying in Latvia. Delna organised the conference “The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia” in collaboration with the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee of the Saeima and the State Chancery.
Quite often during the conference, we heard that lobbying or representation of interest groups as we like to call it in Latvia is a normal democratic process. Rightly so. At the national and regional level, various societal groups should have a right to express their opinions about political decisions that affect their lives. Politicians also need to be aware of public opinions to ensure that decisions are made for the benefit of the majority and achieve the expected target.
One of the main problems preventing lobbying from being regulated in Latvia was a lack of agreement among various societal groups about the definition of lobbying and the parties to whom the respective legal framework should apply. Thus, creation of a lobbying group at the Saeima in 2019 was a very welcome step forward, and this group has already started developing the scope of the new law and progressed towards its adoption. This gives all of us an opportunity to exchange views and make these good intentions a reality.
This is the right time for those of us who protect specific interests and who will be made subject to the new law to sit down and discuss the principles of the potential new framework for it to hit the target. It is our homework and our duty: we have to participate in drafting the law and express our opinion to facilitate a more responsible decision-making in our country.
Other European countries like Ireland and Lithuania have demonstrated that even in complicated circumstances a proper legal framework for lobbying is not an impossible mission. Furthermore, international organizations such as Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have done an excellent job in identifying the best practices and expanding the basic regulatory principles applicable to lobbying that may be adopted in any country irrespective of the political system. These bodies stand ready to provide their vision about the most appropriate statutory scope to the Latvian public.
We invite all members of the public to read documents and watch videos from conference “The Road to Lobbying Regulation in Latvia”, get an insight in the progress of Latvia in drafting this legal framework, and listen to the opinions and recommendations of conference speakers.
We will use this opportunity and make progress towards greater transparency of political processes in Latvia.

Inese Tauriņa
Director, Delna — Transparency International Latvia

Transparent and organised advocacy is based on a clear public exchange of opinions among three societal groups: the civil society, and the private and public sector that have come together to publicly advocate their interests to adequate political decisions. We have also included these basic principles in the advocacy logo.