The Latvian Association of Local Governments (LALRG) celebrates its 30th anniversary this week – the association was founded on December 15, 1991 with the aim of unite Latvian local governments and develop the local government system in accordance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
The foundation congress lasted for two days – December 14 and December 15. The first document adopted by 169 delegates participating in the congress was a resolution "On the Establishment of the Association of Local Governments of Latvia". On the first day of the congress, the provisional statutes of the organization were adopted, the procedure for the election of the chairman, the board and the audit commission was approved, as well as three candidates for the position of chairman were nominated. On December 15, some more important decisions were made and the first chairman of association was elected – Jānis Bunkšs, Chairman of Jelgava City Council.
Three chairmen have been leading the work of LALRG over its 30 years – Jānis Bunkšs (1991-1994), Andris Jaunsleinis (1994-2017) and Gints Kaminskis (since 2017). Since the establishment of the Association, the number of local governments in Latvia has decreased 14 times to the current number of 43, of which 42 are our members.
Chairman Gints Kaminskis: "The Association of Local Governments of Latvia was founded a year after the restoration of our country's independence, and throughout all these years we have been building strong and independent local governments and also helping to build, strengthen and maintain the principles of a democratic state. Local governments and municipal institutions are the closest to our inhabitants, providing services and support. In thirty years of working together, we have achieved a high level of trust in local governments, which is many times higher than trust in the Saeima, the Cabinet of Ministers and political parties. It proves that only together can we achieve results. "
A significant milestone in the history of the Association was the Law on Local Governments passed by the Saeima in 1994 – it provided for the annual negotiations between the Cabinet of Ministers and LALRG and since then the Association has been involved in the process of developing annual state budget.
"During these years, we have not only reacted proactively to topical issues of local governments and expressed our opinion, but we have also strengthened our role as a cooperation partner of the national government, participating in the preparation of important decisions for the state and its people. Thanks to the active involvement of the Association in the budget preparation process, we have facilitated the economic growth and development of local governments,” says G. Kaminskis.
To mark the important anniversary, in-person celebration event is postponed till the spring 2022, as soon as the epidemiological situation in the country allows.