EU Member States' approaches to external crisis management. Case of Latvia
A whole-of-government approach (WGA) to dealing with external conflicts and crises has not been defined as a specific objective in Latvia. Though there accordingly is not any specifically defined WGA in place, and neither such nor similar terms are used in legislation and policy planning documents, it is implicitly but clearly present in policy planning and implementation. Engagement of all relevant institutions has been a common practice roughly since Latvia regained its independence in 1991 and commenced re-establishment of its diplomatic corps, armed forces, and other institutions.
Latvia’s current approach to dealing with external conflicts and crises is primarily determined by four factors: the size of its public administration (and the country itself), resources devoted to external engagements, level of political priority, and its membership in international organisations. Given the small size of Latvia, its relatively compact public administration, its limited resources devoted to external crises and conflicts, and the lack of consistent and meaningful political initiatives to foster a more active role, Latvia has compact crisis-management mechanisms and it has not hit above its weight in dealing with external crises and conflicts. This, however, does not impede its fairly good whole-of-government operation in practice.
As Latvia has been a member of both the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for over 15 years, its approach and engagement abroad primarily fits within the mechanisms, approaches and priorities of those two organisations.
Published 28 June 2020