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European Days of Local Solidarity in Latvian local governments - successful and attractive

Four local governments in Latvia – Ādaži municipality, Pāŗgauja municipality, Preiļi municipality and Jūrmala city - can feel proud about having had a successful and attractive week of European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) in November 15 – 23.

Representatives from Dusheti municipality (Georgia) visited Ādaži municipality. Art competition for children called Our portraits was held in Ādaži, focusing on similarities and differences between people in Latvia and Georgia. Municipality representatives learned about work of Ādaži municipality, its institutions, main projects, as well as best practice on involvement of local inhabitants in both decision-making and everyday activities. In November 22, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republic of Latvia visited Ādaži and together with the delegation from Dusheti participated in silk painting workshop at Ādaži Art and Music School, as well as visited several educational establishments in order to discuss current issues of municipality’s role in education system.

Jūrmala city hosted representatives of Brovari municipality (Ukraine) for a study visit and organized a joint meeting for both local government staff and representatives of associations on urban initiative projects and culture activities. The Ukrainian delegation met with executive director of Jūrmala city and learn about the work of educational institutions in the city.

Also 54 pupils from Pārgauja municipality took part in drawing competition called Moldova from our view. Before the competition, children could watch a short film about Riscani region in Moldova. Authors of the best paintings were awarded by Pārgauja municipality and the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG).

In order to inform local inhabitants about Ukraine – one of Eastern partnership countries – and to improve public awareness on development cooperation and development education issues, Preiļi municipality hosted a delegation from Nizhyn city (Ukraine). Within the framework of EDLS, Preiļi municipality organized an international Latvian-Ukrainian creative work competition called Hand in hand with our friends. Students from art schools in Latvia and Ukraine participated in this competition; six of them were invited to take part in events in Preiļi. In addition, creative workshops for children, youth and their teachers about further cooperation in the fields of education and arts were organized thus facilitating involvement of children and youth in development cooperation activities.

The EDLS were launched for four years ago. This year the initiative involved 35 local governments from Albania, Belgium, France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Spain. The aim of this initiative is to facilitate engagement of local governments in promoting global solidarity and sustainable development, as well as support European democratic values of diversity and solidarity. As stated in the Charter of the European Days of Local Solidarity, local governments in Europe play the main role in facilitation of sustainable development on both local and international level.

LALRG in cooperation with several local governments in Latvia participate in activities of the European Days of Local Solidarity already for the 4th year. EDLS activities in Latvia were organized within the framework of EC co-financed project “Working together towards empowering local and regional governments for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes in EU partner countries”, and financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.