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Citizens participation in Latvia : still a long road to go?
Kurzfassung auf EnglischOn the 20.01.1991 the Latvian people defended the Latvian political elite from the Soviet OMON troops in order to achieve independence. After this impressive sign of civil society the people fell asleep, the level of mobility and the satisfaction with the functioning of democracy therefore is rather weak. The referendum (2008), to gain the right to dissolve the Parliament by the people, initiated by the Trade Unions can be assessed as a sign that there is something on the move. This paper is trying to give an impression of the situation of the civil society in terms of participation in the decision- making process. Hereby the focus lays on NGOs: What is the legal base and which problems do they face. To learn more about the situation interviews were organized with representatives of NGOs from different sectors like community development; Social inclusion; advocating gender issues as well as environment and sustainable development. As a result of the research it can be said that the civil society made some steps forward but it is still struggling with a high level of corruption, lack of interested from the elite and the ordinary people and the insecure financial state.
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