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Project title: “Establishing Continuous Professional Training (CPT) for Latvian civil servants on EU issues”  

Specific issues / chapters of the Acquis: Agriculture (Chapter 7), Regional Policy (Chapter 21), Environment (Chapter 22), Financial control (Chapter 28) & Financial and budgetary provisions (Chapter 29)

Horizontal issues: EU-law and the EU decision-making processes

Country: Latvia

Recipient authorities:

European Integration Bureau, EIB in Riga

Latvian School of Public Administration, LSPA (Valsts Administracijas Skola) in Riga

The over-all effort was to improve the administrative capacity required by Latvian membership of the EU, taking into account national strategy for "Training of Latvian Public Officials in EU-matters".

The overall goal of the project was the establishment of a sustainable national capacity at LSPA to develop and deliver high-level training in EU-issues.

The project was implemented from March 2000 to June 2001 with training of 212 civil servants and ‘training of trainers’, attended by 135 participants. Furthermore, consultative work was implemented. The activities took place in Riga and supplemented with study tours to Copenhagen and Brussels. The activities covered horizontal EU-issues and specific chapters of the acquis with due account to the national training strategy. The two parts of education are described below.

(1) Horizontal EU-issues:

EU Basic Module”     

included a revision of a pilot module (seminar) and assistance to develop new a programme and manuals for future Latvian trainers. The intention is that Latvian trainers themselves should implement in a revised basic training course during 2 days being mandatory for approximately 30,000 civil servants at the central and regional level.

“Law approximation – principles, methodology and implementation”

seminars for civil servants and future Latvian trainers. The seminars included topics such as characteristics and sources of EC law; effect of EC law before and after membership; relation between the Treaties and secondary law; different types of harmonisation; pre-drafting activities; best practices in law drafting; the role of courts as interpreter of legislation

“Introduction to EU law”

seminars for civil servants and future Latvian trainers. The seminars had a breakdown on future trainers, non-lawyers and lawyers, respectively.

“Co-operation between national Governments and EU institutions”

seminars for civil servants and future Latvian trainers. The seminars included topics such as the decision making-process at the EU level and the roles and tasks of the Commission, Presidency, Council Secretariat, Member States and the European Parliament. In addition, the decision-making process at the national level, including the roles and tasks of the European Affairs Committee in a Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the line-ministries, interest groups and the role and tasks of the Permanent Representations in Brussels were included. Finally, the seminars covered the relations between the national level and the EU level in the decision-making, including mandates and reservations used at the negotiation table.

“Civil service in the EU framework”

seminars for civil servants and future Latvian trainers. The seminar included topics such as decision making in the Commission; ‘Comitology’ procedures; decision-making with the European Parliament (co-decision procedure, including the conciliation committees; consultation; co-operation; assent and budget procedures). In addition, the administrative structure in Member States were incorporated in the training (the neutral civil service vis á vis the politicians; the use of cabinet  -‘political advisors’). Finally, a career in the EU institutions was covered (recruitment; career guidance and mobility; career structure; performance appraisal; procedure for under-performing staff and flexible retirement; the Concours, including a self-test of the participants).

“Human Resource Development (HRD): Performance-assessment and appraisal”

seminars for civil servants and future Latvian trainers  enabling participants to carry out unbiased assessments and appraisals of performance by public officials based on objectives and transparent methods. The training included an introduction to HRD and basic activities/tools in Human Resource Management. The seminars included role-play on appraisal talks with video recording, play back and individual feedback in plenary.

“Study tour to Copenhagen for trainers”

working with general training and specified modules concerning the acquis.

“Study Tour to Brussels for trainers”

working with the basic introduction course to the EU.

(2) Specific chapters of the acquis:

Common Agricultural Policy (chapter 7)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers with specific focus on

  • General knowledge of goals and basic principles in the Common Agricultural Policy Financing instruments

  • FEOGA guarantees

  • The agricultural legislative complex

  • The decision-making process.

  • Latvian aspects of the CAP.          

EU Regional Policy (chapter 21)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers with specific focus on

  • History, Budget, Treaty and Regulations

  • Main principles – Programming, Concentration, Partnership, Additionally

  • Programming: negotiations – structure and implementation; types of projects; eligibility (data sheets) illustrated by mainly Danish experiences

  • A workshop concerning “Programming Latvian Regional Policy”  

  • Latvian aspects of the Environmental Policy

Pre-accession structural funds and their utilisation (chapter 21)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers with specific focus on

  • Introduction to the pre-accession structural funds, Phare, ISPA, SAPARD, Baltic Sea Programme.

  • Community measures, objectives, financial arrangements, forms and rate of assistance. 

  • Compatibility with other Community policies

  • Principles of the administration of EU Structural Funds

  • Examples of Implementation Structures from Denmark, Finland, Baltic Sea and Phare

  • Workshop on the application in the candidate countries

  • Latvian aspects on the on the pre-accession structural funds and their utilisation

EU Environmental Policy (chapter 22)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers with specific focus on

  • Principles of EU-environmental law

  • Instruments of EU-environmental law:

  • Requirements to administration: EU-administrative law, principles and legal implications

  • Environmental Impacts Assessment – EIA

  • Integration pollution and prevention control (IPPC)

  • Waste law, landfill, packaging waste and shipment

  • EC-Water-legislation

  • Nature conservation

  • Latvian aspects of the EU Environmental Policy

EU Budget & Finance (chapter 28 and chapter 29)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers with specific focus on

  • Institutions and the role of the EU budget in a Community and national context

  • Developing the budgetary power: the rise of the European Parliament and the establishment of the European Court of Auditors

  • Treaty provisions and secondary regulation on financial matters

  • The budgeting procedure: Commission, Council and the European Parliament

  • Contents and format of the budget and policies and bodies outside the budget

  • The administration of the budget at Community and national level

  • The protection of the financial interest of the EU

  • Internal control and internal audit (GD XX)

  • The European Court of Auditors and the European Parliament (Budget Control Committee)

  • National Co-operation with the European Court of Auditors

  • Latvian aspects of EU budget and Finance