On 14th of December, FICIL Investment Protection work group continued its annual tradition and met with the Advisers to the President of Latvia in Riga Castle. Work group members met with Ms. Laila Jurcāne Deputy Head of the Chancery, Ms. Ieva Ilvesa Information and Digital Policy Adviser, Ms. Alise Pīka-Ozola Economic Policy Adviser, and Ms. Anna Karmena Singha, Legal Adviser to the Chancery. After short introduction and highlighting FICIL priorities the discussion focused on recommendations related to quality of legislation, court efficiency and digitalisation, public procurement, and fair competition.

At the start of meeting, FICIL Investment Protection work group leader Mr. Māris Vainovskis highlighted the need for effective and well-thought-out regulations already from the beginning of the legislative process. Moreover, any major objections or proposals should be avoided when regulations are at a later stage, such as the second or third readings, such processes can delay or completely stop new legislation from coming into force. Additionally, Mr. Vainovskis also expressed a concept that preambles should be implemented in key laws to increase legal certainty and better implementation of the policy following its adoption. This can contribute to more certainty and traceability in legal interpretation.

Afterwards, Leader of the FICIL Court Efficiency and Digitalisation sub-group, Ms. Daiga Zivtiņa recommended further court specialisation, example such as establishment of Economic Affairs Court indicates that greater court specialisation must be on agenda in the future. Furthermore, work is still needed to ensure consistency of court proceedings and their quality. Lastly, Ms. Zivtiņa emphasised the need to continue implementing digital tools at courts and throughout legal proceedings. Court efficiency is closely related to digitalisation and can an effective means to achieve greater transparency, build thorough database and reduce the workload of courts’ employee.

However, Leader of FICIL Fair Competition and Public Procurement sub-group, Mr. Māris Butāns, emphasised the need to clearly establish the state’s role in governance over state enterprises, especially ensuring clear guidance and united message from different public sector institutions on enterprise goals and decisions. Public sector must avoid fragmented responses when it comes to state enterprises. On public procurement, Mr. Butāns urged to look to centralise procurement process while building greater competency among public sector employees responsible for procurement procedures. By doing this, the public sector not only saves resources but can create better and more encompassing tender requirements.

During the discussion, Advisers to the President of Latvia thanked FICIL for developing and publishing recommendations with the intent to improve the investment climate. Ms. Ieva Ilvesa agreed that further work needs to be done to strengthen the public procurement process and horizontal cooperation among ministries. President’s Advisers also emphasised and told the work group members about the planned activities and the work done by the President when it comes to quality of legislation. The present agreed to continue cooperating on the discussed topics.