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Ceturtdiena 22.03.2018 | Name days: Tamāra, Dziedra

Estonia acts while Latvia still tries to find responsible body for returning emigrants

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast week, during the international labour exhibition in Ireland, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund presented work opportunities in Estonia, thus trying to bring back people who have left the country. Whereas, it looks like the Latvian strategy for returning the emigrated residents is rather poor, because, it took one day to contact ministries to establish who is responsible for attracting the workforce back and yet another day to find out the strategy.

While Estonia aims to inform about the possibilities the insurance fund offers to the people working abroad, the Latvian government does not engage in providing any information.

At first, the State Employment Agency (SEA) was contacted. The SEA marketing and international relations specialist Dainis Jukonis kindly explained to the business news portal BNN that the SEA deals with implementation and does not draft strategic plans.

It was recommended to turn to the Welfare Ministry issuing orders to the SEA. After a two-hours long e-mail correspondence, the Welfare Ministry’s public relations specialist Liene Uzule informed that after consulting the relevant specialist it was found out – the responsible authority is the Culture Ministry, who coordinates the implementation of the included tasks in the statement On the Necessary Action to Facilitate the Return of Emigrated Latvian Citizens.

Unfortunately, the Culture Ministry could not reply instantly about Latvia’s strategy regarding the residents leaving the country. Initially, Andris Saulītis, Advisor to the Culture Minister on public relations matters, did not mention the existence of the statement. However, later on, the Ministry wrote back, indicating that several ministries are in charge and are involved in the preparation of the statement – Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economics, Interior, Education and Science, Welfare and Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

A number of long-term priorities have been approved to reduce the emigration of Latvia’s residents in order to seek employment and to encourage their return:

• Housing accessibility for residents, especially families with children;

• Regional development by providing the infrastructure necessary for the employment of residents, for children and families’ needs;

• Development of employment relationship culture;

• Tax and benefit system review in order to strengthen the welfare level of families with children;

• Reduction of red tape for positive commercial, agricultural and civil society’s initiatives, as well as for solving individual and their families’s social problems.

Saulitis pointed out one of the information sources is the already mentioned SEA, namely, the webpage of the agency offers a lot of information on employment and job opportunities in Latvia. Moreover, the SEA registers job vacancies in an online system available to everyone on the Internet.

According to the latest information, about 183 thousand people visit the site monthly, including, those currently abroad, for example, 32 thousand people from Great Britain visited the webpage in April, he says.

He is confident the issue of Latvians living abroad is an import part of the upcoming National identity and social integration programme to be launched in October this year.

Currently, the introduction of the project is published, claiming that Latvia needs each and every its citizen. Similalry, it is also said in the introduction many Latvians live abroad both permanently and temporary, Saulitis explains.

Returning back to the Estonian practice, Marta Traks, head of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Eures service told the portal E24 their aim is to inform what an insurance fund can give, for example, information on export-import benefits. If people want to work in Estonia, they can do it in three months time, keeping the benefit granted in Ireland. In collaboration with the Business Development Fund we also offer some business advantages, she says, adding that they will make effort to convince people to return.

According to Traks, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will participate in the exhibition, as there are many jobless Estonians in Ireland. In the meantime, the Fund also intends to offer job opportunities to both Estonians and the Irish.

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