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Shrinking Citizenship: Analytical Report on the Monitoring of Printed Media, Parliamentary Debates and Legislative Initiative concerning Civic Participation in Latvia

Year: 2007
Financed by: Open Society Institute Think-Tank Fund
Language: English, Latvian 

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Gads: 2007
Financed by: Open Society Institute Think-Tank Fund
Language: English, Latvian 

Opinion leaders and major printed media in Latvia sometimes propose arbitrary limitations to the public visibility/ participation/ citizenship (in the broader sense of the word, including access to policy debate) of a number of groups whom they deem ‘suspect’ – non-citizens, new immigrants, LGBT, and activists of NGOs which receive international funding.

The ability of NGOs and other civil society actors to effectively oppose the arbitrary attempts to ‘shrink citizenship’ depends on their ability to provide evidence-based assessment of these attempts and to mobilise public support for inclusive and participatory policy-making.

This annual report was produced within the framework of the project Shrinking citizenship (Izaicinājums pilsoniskajai līdzdalībai), implemented by Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS and supported by Open Society Institute Think-Tank Fund.

The goal of the project is to attract public attention to the cases when some politicians and opinion leaders attempt to limit the field of democratic citizenship arbitrarily. They do this by using intolerant and exclusionary rhetoric about minorities and NGOs, or by attempting to introduce a hierarchy of civic participation (e.g. suggesting that some forms of participatory citizenship should be guarded from ‘disloyal elements’).

The main activities of the project include the monitoring of printed media and  parliamentary debates, as well as the monitoring of legislative initiatives aimed at the ‘shrinking’ or broadening of participatory citizenship. PROVIDUS also monitors the implementation of government policies which have as their declared primary objective the promotion of tolerance.

The far-reaching goal of the project is to mobilize the support in Latvia for pluralist, participatory democracy, to expose alarmingly populist tendencies, and to raise public awareness of minorities’ and NGOs’ right to public presence and to participation in the public policy field.

 Full text of the English version of the report (325.00 KB)

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