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Latvia

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2005 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 704 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 506 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 706 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC (2001) 1749 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1405 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1203 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission considered that Latvia should not have major problems in the area of education, training and youth with a view to its accession.

The November 1998 Report ascertained that Latvia was continuing its efforts in this area. However, no progress had been made as regards the adoption of legal provisions concerning the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

The October 1999 Report showed that Latvia had made progress in this area. A framework law on education had been adopted, as well as a strategic programme on the development of education. Latvia had also continued its efforts concerning the education of the children of migrant workers, and continued to participate in the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe programmes.

The November 2000 Report noted that Latvian legislation already met the requirements of the acquis. Latvia had therefore concentrated on implementing legislation previously adopted. It had undertaken, inter alia, reforms in the field of education and training on the basis of this legislation.

The November 2001 Report stated that Latvia had concentrated on strengthening its institutions and continuing the reform of the education system. Implementation of the law on higher education institutions, which was amended in 2000, had made it possible to set up vocational courses in higher education. Latvia was taking part in the second generation of the Leonardo, Socrates and Youth programmes.

The October 2002 Report showed that Latvia had made further progress in this area, particularly with regard to education reform, development of vocational training and strengthening administrative capacity. However, Latvia needed to concentrate on implementing the Directive on the education of the children of migrant workers, strengthening the relevant institutions, completing the reform of the education system and improving the quality of education and vocational training.

The November 2003 Report considers that Latvia meets the commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the area of education and training.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The EC Treaty provides that the Community shall:

  • contribute to the development of quality education which shall include a European dimension and shall support and supplement the action of the Member States while respecting their cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 149, ex Article 126) with regard to the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems;
  • implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States (Article 150, ex Article 127) and shall aim to facilitate adaptation to industrial changes and increase employability.

These provisions are being implemented mainly through three major action programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe) recently updated by a new generation of programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).

EVALUATION

Since 1997, Latvia has continued its endeavours to reform its educational system. Following the adoption of a new framework law on education in October 1998, a strategic programme on the development of education was adopted for the period 1998-2009. A policy paper on the development of education for the period 2002-2005 was also adopted in June 2002.

Latvia has continued its reforms in education and training, mainly on the basis of the 1998 education act and the 1999 vocational training act. Implementation of the law on higher education institutions, amended in 2000, has made it possible to set up vocational courses in higher education. Rationalisation of the network of vocational training schools began with the capital, Riga. Despite the efforts made, significant advances are needed in the implementation of the education reform.

With regard to the recognition of academic qualifications in the Baltic area, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have signed an agreement to improve the mobility of students and teachers between the Baltic states.

There is an administrative structure which is responsible for training. Coordination between the bodies responsible for training, i.e. the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the specialist bodies belonging to the Ministries, needs to be improved. In February 2002, the government adopted the investment strategy of the Ministry of Education and Science for the period 2003-2007.

Latvia continues to take part in the Community programmes in this field, and the national agencies are operational.

Latvian legislation on the education of the children of migrant workers has been brought into line with the acquis but has yet to be implemented.

Since the Commission Opinion of 1997, Latvia has made steady progress. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed (see 2002 Report). Latvia has not requested any transitional arrangements in this area.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 04.03.2004
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