On 2 December, at the launch of the European Union (EU) Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 programming period and 2021-2027 programming period in Riga, “The European Union’s contribution to your security!”. The management of the Ministry of the Interior and the home affairs sector, as well as home affairs experts, discussed what has been achieved and what is planned in strengthening the country’s external and internal security thanks to the EU Funds. It should be noted that in the period 2021-2027, the EU funds for home affairs have been substantially increased in order to continue strengthening the security, asylum system and border surveillance of Latvia and the EU in a sound and systematic way.
In the discussions on “The Internal Affairs Service - a prestigious workplace of the future” and “Unpredictable migration as a modern challenge”, experts, including the management of the internal affairs services and the Ministry of the Interior, agreed that EU funding is a great help in overcoming geopolitical challenges, as well as in improving and modernizing the infrastructure of the internal affairs services.
Dimitrijs Trofimovs, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior: With the EU funds, we have increased the mobility of the internal affairs services, their capabilities in the air, on the water and on land. We have stepped up the fight against all types of crime, especially economic crime. Our services have also strengthened cooperation in the fight against cybercrime. We will continue our work on improving information systems, migration-related processes, border reinforcement and other solutions that are important for the security of every Latvian and EU citizen. I would like to express my gratitude to the team of the Ministry of the Interior and all partners for their ability to implement important projects to strengthen the internal and external security of Latvia and the EU so far and in the years to come.”
Zane Petre, Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia: In recent years, we have been confronted with a series of events that have made all of us think more about security - the migration crisis in 2015, pandemics, hybrid attacks and the war in Ukraine. These challenges have not been easy, either for us individually as Europeans or in the context of the work of public authorities. Many of them are still not overcome, but one thing is clear: despite the challenges, the Ministry of the Interior and its subordinate institutions continue to work tirelessly to ensure security and justice in Latvia. It should be said that the successful implementation of projects always depends on the people who implement them, who are able to see and understand what needs to be done better or differently. Seeing what has already been done and the plans that the Ministry of the Interior will implement in the near future, we can be sure that the employees of the Ministry and its subordinate institutions are constantly on guard for our security and that of Europe as a whole.”
Beate Gminder, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, gave a remote address.
The event provided a unique opportunity to see the State Border Guard presence detection systems, night surveillance devices, thermal cameras, video recorders and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as to get acquainted with the work of State Border Guard College cynologists and service dogs, including in the search for narcotic substances and explosives.
The State Fire and Rescue Service demonstrated the use of special equipment acquired through EU projects, talked about the establishment of a practical training ground at the Fire Safety and Civil Protection College and will present other major development projects.
In turn, the Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs showed videos on the asylum procedure and accommodation of asylum seekers in the Asylum Seekers Centre, as well as materials on e-tools for naturalization self-examination and applying for residence permits.
At the State Police Forensic Science stand, the attendees could learn more about the daily work and specifics of the work of experts, as well as see several devices that provide essential support to the work of experts - a video endoscopy machine, a portable X-ray device and a spectrometer.
The event also awarded prizes for the children’s drawing competition “The European Union’s contribution to your safety!” where children were asked to visually represent what the word “security” means to them, how safe they feel in their environment, what they think about security in their country, in Europe and in the world. The Ministry of the Interior would like to express its gratitude to the children, their parents and teachers for their interest and for sending in so many beautiful entries. The event also featured an exhibition of the children’s work.
The event brought together experts, researchers and practitioners from both the public and non-governmental sectors, as well as educational institutions, including: State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Dimitrijs Trofimovs and other representatives of the Ministry of the Interior management, Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia Zane Petre, Chief of the State Police Armands Ruks, Chief of the State Border Guard Guntis Pujāts, Deputy Chief of the State Border Guard Juris Martukāns, Deputy Chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service Mārtiņš Baltmanis, Head of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs Maira Roze, as well as Chairman of the Board of the Trade union of Latvian Interior employees Armands Augustāns, Head of the Office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Latvia Ilmārs Mežs, Director of “Providus” and Leading Researcher Iveta Kažoka.
A live recording of the event will be available on the website and Facebook page of the Ministry of the Interior. See photos from the event here: https://bit.ly/3XRZh67
Ministry of the Interior