On June 11, the President convened a meeting of constitutional bodies in the Riga Castle to discuss topical issues regarding the functioning of constitutional bodies.

State President Egils Levits, Speaker of the Saeima (parliament) Inara Murniece, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Aigars Strupiss and President of the Constitutional Court Sanita Osipova participated in the meeting.

The Prime Minister informed the audience about the progress of vaccination against Covid-19, which ought to be furthered in order to ensure returning to schools this autumn and uninterrupted operation of businesses. Krisjanis Karins also informed others about future vaccine procurements.

Heads of constitutional bodies discussed additional freedoms that will be granted to those who have received vaccine against COVID-19, have recovered from the virus or have the certificate confirming that they have recently undertaken COVID-19 test and results have been negative. Participants of the meeting agreed that parliament should work on the legal basis for granting these freedoms. President envisages no conflicts between such regulatory requirements and Satversme (constitution) if adopted measures are proportionate and balanced.

At the same time, the need to explain to the public in a more comprehensible manner the next steps and the justification of the decisions taken was emphasized. The issue of widespread misinformation in the information space was also updated.

The participants also discussed the possibility of resuming the work of the constitutional bodies in person. The State President pointed out that the operation of the constitutional bodies in absentia was permissible during the emergency situation, but as conditions improve, it is necessary to return to the usual in-person work, if possible. The heads of the constitutional bodies welcomed the possibility to use the model of hybrid working, where individual participants of the meeting or invited experts participate remotely.

The State President and the President of the Constitutional Court informed those present about the conference for European Union (EU) constitutional courts and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which will take place in the beginning of this September in Riga, giving national constitutional courts an opportunity to deepen their dialogue with CJEU.  The State President emphasized that this conference is crucial for uniform application of rule of law in the EU and welcomed Latvian Constitutional Court’s participation in deepening of such dialogue.

Topical legislative initiatives that will be on the agenda of the Saeima in autumn were also discussed.

 

More about the meeting: Website of the President of Latvia

Information and photos by Chancery of the President of Latvia