Cooperation with NGOs
Organisations responsible for informing society and facilitating discussion about issues of security and defence policies of Latvia, Latvia’s participation in NATO, various issues of international relations and security are cooperation partners of the Ministry of Defence in the non-governmental sector. NGO sector performs researches of issues topical for the defence sector, informs and educates people about issues of military history, as well as popularizes the National Armed Forces.
Currently the most active collaboration partners of the MoD in Latvia are the following: the Latvian Officers Association, the Latvian Reserve Officers Association, the Association of Latvian National Soldiers, the Union of Latvian National Partisans, the Latvian Riflemen Association, the Brothers’ Cemetery Committee, the Latvia’s Rural Library Support Association, the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for East European Policy Studies, the Baltic to Black Sea Alliance, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The Union of Latvian National Partisans, the Latvian Officers Association, the Latvian Reserve Officers Association and the Latvian Riflemen Association, all supported by the MoD, unite soldiers of various generations and take part in the inspections of burial locations of soldiers killed in battles, organise nationalistic educational events for youth, participate at public events devoted to the Christmas Battles, Kalpaks’ Days, Cēsis Battles, Lāčplēsis Day, as well as the World War II battles in Vidzeme and Kurzeme, and the January Barricade Days etc. There is Delegation Agreement concluded with the Brothers’ Cemetery Commission on gathering information and arranging burial places of Latvian soldiers killed in world wars in the Russian Federation.
In implementation of international projects the MoD has developed a successful cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which is one of the most influential funds in the USA. The Fund is working internationally promoting cooperation between the USA and Europe solving common global and transatlantic issues. The Fund provides scholarships and regularly organises international discussions on topical political issues in Europe and the USA, as well as performs research work. The centre of the Fund is located in Washington and it has seven offices – in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Bucharest, Warsaw and Ankara, as well as three smaller agencies – in Bratislava, Turin and Stockholm. Cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States helps to ensure the participation of Latvia in high-level discussions on promotion of transatlantic cooperation and issues of international policy, as well as provides opportunity for Latvian NGOs to implement international projects and gain new experience. Ministry of Defence started cooperating with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in 2006 to promote participation of Latvia in international discussions and policy making on topical defence and security issues. The MoD supports annual Brussels Forum organised by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which gathers the most influential politicians, businessmen, academicians, journalists and experts of other sectors to discuss the most topical problems faced by Europe and the USA.