20 May 2019 was the start of the Spring Semester of Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) Intensive programme in European Law and Economics. The Intensive Programme is being implemented for the sixth time, and this year it will be followed by 14 young professionals from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
RGSL Acting Rector Janis Ikstens, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Political Director Jānis Mažeiks and US Ambassador to Latvia Nancy Bikoff Pettit took part in the opening ceremony.
In his address to the participants, Jānis Mažeiks said he was happy to welcome to Riga the Central Asian young professionals who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and contributing to the development of their communities and states. The Political Director expressed hope that mutual contacts and the knowledge of good governance, Latvia’s reform experience and the functioning of the European Union gained during the course would prove useful in the participants’ daily work.
The Political Director offered gratitude to the Riga Graduate School of Law and its partners – the University of Latvia, the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, and the European Institute of Public Administration for their contribution to the implementation of the programme,. He thanked the United States Government for its support for the spring semester.
“You are a part of an elite group of future leaders, congratulations on your selection for this programme,” US Ambassador Nancy Bikoff Pettit said in her opening speech.
For the next six weeks, 14 students representing the public administration, civil society and academic circles of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will receive education in Latvia. Besides acquiring theoretical knowledge and practical skills, the participants will also visit various public institutions in Latvia and make a study tour to Brussels and Luxembourg.
The interdisciplinary programmes in European Law and Economics have been successfully implemented in Latvia since 2014, and they are coordinated by Riga Graduate School of Law. The three-month Advanced Programme and the six-week Intensive Programme are part-financed from the development assistance policy funds earmarked in the budget of Latvia. Contributions have been provided by Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.
260 students from the European Neighbourhood Policy countries, Central Asia and the Western Balkans have graduated from both programmes since 2014. They will be able to apply their newly acquired knowledge and experience towards the promotion of growth in their home countries. The three-month Advanced Programme is also being implemented in 2019 with financial support from the Norwegian government.