Comprehensive State Defence

On August 23, 2018, State Secretaries' Meeting announced a draft report prepared by the Ministry of Defence of Latvia about Comprehensive State Defence approach. The aim of the Comprehensive State Defence is to strengthen the cooperation among state institutions, provide effective mechanisms for public - private partnership, increase the skills and capabilities of the society to protect themselves, their families and Latvia in case of crisis.

Two working groups have been established in order to coordinate and monitor the gradual implementation of the Comprehensive State Defence; a ministerial level working group headed by the Minister for Defence and the State Secretaries working group headed by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence in order to promote a common understanding of sectoral ministries regarding comprehensive State State Defence at strategic level.

In the process of implementing the Comprehensive State Defence system, the Cabinet of Ministers' strategic level exercises "Kristaps" and the municipal civil defence commissions' exercises "Pilskalns" organized by the National Armed Forces are being created. One of the essential principles of Comprehensive State Defence is the decentralization of responsibility for crisis management. Each industry ministry is responsible for crisis management in its sector of responsibility, while each Latvian municipality is responsible for crisis management in its area of ​​responsibility.

On 5 October 2023, the Saeima approved the State Defence Concept developed by the Ministry of Defence, which defines the strategic principles, priorities and measures of the country's military defence in times of peace, national threat and war. The State Defence Concept includes two main strategic lines of action for national defence: strengthening deterrence and defence capabilities, and strengthening resilience, capacity and will to defend the country. The State Defence Concept states that the defence of Latvia and the safeguarding of its independence is a shared responsibility of the whole society - it specifies the role of each individual, different communities, as well as local and national authorities in the defence of the country, emphasising the need for self-initiative and self-organisation or the development of a culture of readiness for action.

In 2021, the Ministry of Defence drafted amendments to the National Security Law expanding the classification of critical infrastructure, complementing it with sectoral critical infrastructure, or Category D critical infrastructure. Category D covers critical infrastructure, the destruction of which, the reduction of operational capacity or the cessation of the provision of critical services, pose a significant threat to public and national security during a declared state of exception or during war. Category D critical infrastructure focuses more on services whose operation is essential during any crisis so that citizens can continue their normal daily routines for as long as possible.

The pilotproject of National Defence lessons for the purpose of educating the youth and providing them with knowledge in the field of defence on voluntary basis has been ongoing for a certain period of time. However, in 2024 the National Defence lessons will become a mandatory part of the general education system.

The pilot project "National Defence Education" is designed to educate children and young people in the foundations of statehood and provide them with defence skills on a voluntary basis, but from 2024 the subject is planned to be included in the national general secondary education standard and the national vocational education standard.

The Ministry of Defence has created an informative brochure ''What to do in case of crisis?'' in order to raise awareness and preparedness of the general public.

What to do in case of crisis?