Challenges of integration: case of Latvia - Iveta Kazoka, Providus


Published on

Presentation given at the expert seminar: New era in integration policies in the Baltic Sea Countries? Tallinn, Estonia, 25.2.2013

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Challenges of integration: case of Latvia - Iveta Kazoka, Providus

  1. 1. Sabiedriskās politikas centrsChallenges ofintegration: case ofLatvia(Presentation by Iveta Kazoka, Centre for Public PolicyPROVIDUS for expert seminar on integration in the Baltic Seacountries, Feb 25, 2013, Tallinn)
  2. 2. Relevant statistics (1)1.Where the people of Latvia have been born (2011 vs2000)? In 2011 – 85.4% Latvia, 7.7% Russia Data and charts: 2011 census data Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  3. 3. Relevant statistics (2)2.Citizenship/nationality (2011 vs 2000)? In 2011 – 83.5% Latvian citizens, 14.2% Latvian non-citizens; 2.3% other country nationals Data and charts: 2011 census data Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  4. 4. Relevant statistics (3)3. Ethnic origin(2011 vs 2000)? In 2011 – 62.1% Latvians, 26.9% Russians Data and charts: 2011 census data Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  5. 5. Relevant statistics (4)4. Language usage at home? 62.1% - Latvian; 37.2% - Russian; 0.7% - other languages Data : 2011 census data Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  6. 6. Based on these data, is the need for integration related policy obvious?How much do you feel you have in common with: Data and chart: SKDS opinion survey, 2012 Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  7. 7. No deep-rooted tensions, but several contentious issues Attitudes towards history; Non-citizens – status and rights; Language issues (usage of Russian language in education, in official communication, in public services); Attitudes towards Russia; Political representation. Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  8. 8. Integration policy 1 Since 1990’s: attempts to define the aims of such a policy. Principal challenges:  Should one focus on finding solution to contentious issues or find some other way to consolidate society?  Deep confusion on the categories of ethnic/national. “Latvian” – citizenship? Ethnic origin? Linguistic category? Self-identification? Attitudes towards history?  Integration: one way or two way process? Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  9. 9. Integration policy 2 2011. Guidelines of National Identity and Society Integration for 2012-2018 . Proclaims: 1) Latvians to be a state nation (which defines Latvian cultural identity); 2) There are ethnic minorities with deep roots in Latvia (but prior to 1940) and whose rights should be protected; 3) People (and their descendants) who came to Latvia during Soviet occupation should be considered immigrants; 4) Being a “Latvian” is an open category – anyone can assimilate to being a Latvian if he/she accepts Latvian culture. Main focus on: 1) Teaching Latvian language; 2) Expanding the usage of Latvian language; 3) Creation of common “social memory” Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  10. 10. Integration policy 3 Guidelines turned out to be deeply contested! Main objections towards guidelines:1. Cultural identity, not civic values as the basis of integration;2. People born in Latvia perceived as immigrants;3. They’ve been given just one legitimate option: to assimilate with Latvian cultural identity;4. Perception of integration as a one-way process where Latvians should continue being as they are, why the others should make effort to integrate. Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  11. 11. Any paradigmatic changes? (1) Deply traumatic referendum on introduction of two state languages in the beginning of 2012. But ... in part due to the referendum there are four silver linings! Four new trends in public discourse on integration: 1) less beligerence and self-righteousness (president; Ministry of Education; politicians); 2) focus on things everyone can do in common regardless of their differences - common events, civic participation as a unifying activity; Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  12. 12. Any paradigmatic changes? (2)3) Conceptual shift from the neccessity to “integrate Russian speakers” to the neccessity of creating a “consolidated society” – which requires input from everyone. 4) Reconceptualization of identities. What does it mean to be a Latvian (44% percent of Latvian inhabitants still perceive it as a “blood”-related category: you cannot be a Latvian if you haven’t been born to ethnic Latvian parents)? Can there be a black-skinned Latvian? A noticable move away from ethnicity-based identities to identities defined by citizenship. Symptomatic struggle over inscription of one’s ethnic origin in passports. Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS