The Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) was established in May 1992 in Riga as a non-profit foundation charged with the task of providing Latvia's decision-makers, experts, and the wider public with analysis, recommendations, and information about international developments, regional security issues, and foreign policy strategy and choices. It is an independent research institute that conducts research, publishes publications, as well as organizes lectures, seminars and conferences related to international affairs.
Among Latvian think tanks, the LIIA is the oldest and one of the most well-known and internationally recognized institutions, especially as the leading think tank that specializes in international affairs. In the LIIA's efforts to provide expertise from a Latvian perspective, the Institute and its fellows have participated in and coordinated various international research projects. The Institute has recently been focusing on such research themes as
- Latvian foreign policy,
- Transatlantic relations,
- European Union policies, including its neighborhood policy and Eastern Partnership, and
- multilateral and bilateral relations with Russia.
The LIIA has also devoted thorough attention to various aspects of energy security and policies:
- EU energy policy,
- EU-Russia energy dialogue,
- national and regional (Central and East Europe, Baltic Sea region, post-Soviet space) energy interaction.
The LIIA was founded and initially funded by several grants from the Swedish government to support research on Baltic security, and has cooperated with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (www.ui.se) in skills transfer programmes for a number of years. The LIIA is currently financed by individual projects and does not receive any permanent funding from any governmental or other non-governmental institutions.
Since its establishment twenty years ago the Latvian Institute of International Affairs has cooperated with a number of institutions that have provided scholarly, financial and technical support for various projects implemented by the Institute. The organizations which can currently be distinguished as among the most significant of LIIA's partners: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Numerous projects carried out by the Institute (research activities, conferences and seminars, lecture programmes, and publishing activities) have recently been funded or implemented in close cooperation with:
- Soros Foundation – Latvia - www.sfl.lv
- Latvian Transatlantic Organization - www.lato.lv
- The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia - www.mod.gov.lv
- Konrad Adenauer Foundation - www.kas.de/wf/en/
- Centre For East European Policy Studies - http://appc.lv/
- Nordic Council of Ministers - www.norden.lv
- Embassy of Norway in Latvia - http://www.norvegija.lv/
- Swedish Defence Research Agency - www.foi.se
Similarly, the LIIA has been active in cooperation with its counterparts in Europe and worldwide within various international scientific frameworks. At the moment, the Institute is a full member of the following research networks:
- The Transeuropean Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) - www.tepsa.be
- The EU Non-Proliferation Consortium - www.nonproliferation.eu/
- EU Consent - www.eu-consent.net
- Euro-Mediterranian Study Commission (EuroMesCo) - www.euromesco.net
- European Policy Institutes Network on the Future of Europe Debate (EPIN) - www.epin.org