On December 18th, 2014, The Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia organized an international seminar on Social Protection Issues in Riga (Latvia). The participants of this seminar were both public administration bodies and research institutions from Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
SIforAGE’s partner in Latvia, -The Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI)- was invited to the seminar. Baiba Bela and Anna Stepcenko –researchers of ASPRI- made a presentation of SIforAGE work, aims and goals. The key issues presented were a set of key ideas such as a “society for all ages”, awareness of the importance of an active and healthy ageing and wisdom as a very important quality and strength of old people. The Policy Recommendations Guide elaborated by SIforAGE’s members on “Best Practices on Evidence-Based Policymaking and Policy Recommendations on Active and Healthy Ageing” was presented as well. Civil servants of the Welfare Ministry expressed their interest in receiving further information about the project.
In addition to the SIforAGE presentation, relevant and related topics were discussed during the seminar such as the pension system in Latvia and the minimum income reform. Regarding the presentation on the pension system in Latvia, it was underlined that this system consists of three main pillars since the essential pension reform in 1996: first, a national defined contribution pension scheme, second, a state mandatory funded pension scheme and third, the private pension scheme. When it comes to the topic of the minimum income reform, this presentation was given by Evija Kula, senior expert at the Department of Social Inclusion and Social Work Policy of the Ministry of Welfare. Ms. Kula is a member of the SIforAGE stakeholders network. Her presentation focused on the importance of reducing poverty through a minimum income level reform planned to be implemented in Latvia in 2017.