August 9th and 10th will present the international forum in Riga “Time for children! Towards a Family Friendly Society”

Within the realization of state initiative “The year of Latvian Honor Family” in the Latvian National Library in Riga on the 9th and 10th of August present the international forum in Riga “Time for children! Towards a Family Friendly Society” will take place. The forum will entail more than 10 country representatives to share their experiences regarding the creation of a family-friendly policy and that way promoting the family support program policy development in Europe and Latvia.

In the forum there will be representatives from governmental and non-governmental institutions who will share their experiences and give lectures. Among the speakers there will be high-rank officials and politicians responsible for family policies from more than 10 European countries: 

European Parliament VP Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Hungarian family policy state minister Katalin Novak, Polish Family, Labour and Social policy ministry assistant state secretary Elżbieta Bojanowska, European Large Family confederation honor president Lazlo Marki, Minister Kaspars Gerhards from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, Director General Andrej Del Fabro of Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social issues and equal opportunities, Senior expert Jitka Hošťálková of Czech Republic Labour and Social affair ministry, councillor Viveca Arrhenius of Finland Family and social affair ministry, Director General assistant Lene Buer Blomqvist of Norvegian Children and equality ministry, Director General Niclas Jacobson of Swedish Health and social affairs ministry, children and family policy manager Pirjo Turk of Estonian social affairs ministry, Assistant office manager and senior expert of “Rand Europe” and the co-author of “The European Platform for Investing in Children” (EPIC) Axelle Devaux, Economy professor Fabrizio Zilibotti from Yale University.

“The aging of society and birth levels has been a significant problem for many years not only in Latvia but also in many other European countries. We must find solutions that would make people decide to give birth to children not once, but twice or even three times, as well as we need to come up with conditions so that people after reaching 18 years old wouldn’t want to look for job opportunities abroad. The task for us all is to strengthen the family and demography aspects in our regulations,” this is what the patron of forum “Time for children! On our way to a family-friendly society” and Prime minister of the Latvian Republic Maris Kucinskis states.


“Promotion of demography in Latvia has been topical for many years and that is why it is important to think now about what kind of country our children and grandchildren will create in the future. We have to make state level decisions already today so that the family support policy in Latvia would motivate and support the child births and welfare of the families. Our task is to listen to the society, understand the necessities and problems of the families and thus create new solutions and approaches towards the creation of a modern support policy,” points out Minister Kaspars Gerhards from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia.

Within the forum it is planned to talk about the demographical situation in the EU and the Baltics, the demographical challenges and EU long-term budget priorities after 2020 and the values of Europe in the context of demographical crisis. Also there will be discussions whether the low birth levels in Europe are only due to the economic problems and will search for ways to strengthen the values of family and children in the western society. Subjects will include the future perspectives of the EU nations, as well as the influence of macro-economic factors towards the size of the family and the EU policy opportunities to improve the demographical situation.

The forum will have workshops with the aim to create European level recommendations that would ensure friendlier environment and will discuss the following:
     Day-care services;
     Child healthcare guarantees; support during pregnancy and post-partum period; education of parents and raising responsibilities;
     Parent equality in raising children, family-friendly workspace;
     Housing support;
     Direct allowance and pension connection with child tax payment.

Also attendees may go to Olaine, which is one of the friendliest municipalities in Latvia towards children and families.

About the Latvian Honor Family Year
In the light of anniversary of the founding of the Latvian State, we are announcing the year 2018 as the Honour Family year. Motto of the year – Time for children. Latvia on the road to a society that is more open towards families. During the year of Honour Family, we have planned various activities and events in order to thank and honour the families that raise children. Also have planned activities that would encourage the society to understand the necessity to become a society that is welcoming for families with children. The future of the Latvian society directly depends on its children, that is why we have to state not only in words but also in actions – it is time for children.
More information:,,

Responsible institution for realization of Latvian Honor family year activities - State Regional Development Agency.