Latvia - Disaster management structure
Jump to category:
The administrative territory is divided into 109 rural municipalities and 9 cities under state jurisdiction (Riga, Daugavpils, Liepaja, Ventspils, Valmiera, Rezekne, Jelgava, Jurmala and Jekabpils).
Latvia is a Republic and the President is elected by the Parliament (Saima) and is the Head of State. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers is approved by the Parliament. The Government is led by the Prime Minister. There are no regional governmental levels in Latvia. Both types of municipalities are led by a popularly elected municipal council.
The system of civil protection (hereinafter the system) is formed by the state institutions, local governments, merchants and all able-bodied citizens and non-citizens of Latvia. Associations of persons and other residents may enter the system voluntarily. The organisation of the system is based on an administratively territorial principle. The system is structured around territorial basic units consisting of local municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction. The Prime Minister is responsible for the continuous functioning of the operation of the system, the implementation of the tasks and the fulfilment of the obligations.
At national level, the responsibility for civil emergency planning rests with the State Fire and Rescue Service under the Ministry of the Interior. The responsibilities at the local level lie with the local municipalities. The heads of institutions and companies are responsible for civil protection in their own institutions and companies.
The Crises Management Council is led by the Prime Minister and acts as a managing body in the event of emergencies. The Crises Management Council coordinates the operational measures of the state institutions in the event of disasters and civil-military cooperation. The Secretariat of the Crises Management Council guarantees the function of Council. The municipal authorities are responsible for establishing and managing the Civil Protection Commission of the municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction. The Civil Protection Commission coordinates civil protection measures in the event of a disaster on the relevant administrative territories.
For further reference, please see Civil Defence Law www2.112.lv/en/upload/normakti/cpl.doc.
The tasks of the ministries in civil protection are the following:
- To plan actions for the operation of the sector in case of a disaster
- To coordinate the operation of the subordinated authorities in case of a disaster
- To coordinate and control the formation of the state material reserves in the sector
- To ensure the fulfilment of the measures specified in the State Civil Protection Plan in accordance with the proposals of the Ministry of Defence – a support to the state defence system, if a military invasion has occurred, a war begun or threats of war or invasion have arisen
- To ensure the training of employees of the institution in civil protection matters.
Depending on the type of emergency, coordination is organised according to the State Civil Protection Plan.
At local level, the chairperson of the municipality or city under state jurisdiction is responsible for the fulfilment of the tasks of civil protection on the relevant administrative territory. The tasks of the local governments in civil protection are the following:
- To establish and manage the Municipal Civil Protection Commission - the Civil Protection Commission of the local government shall operate pursuant to the regulations developed in accordance with the model regulations approved by the Cabinet
- To participate in preventive measures on the relevant administrative territory and to provide support to the operation and emergency services, taking into account the possible threat when responding and taking emergency measures to eliminate the consequences
- If necessary, to evacuate the inhabitants from the territories endangered or affected by a disaster, to ensure a record of the inhabitants, temporary accommodation, food provision, social care and provision of medical assistance
- To ensure work and living conditions for the personnel of other administrative territories, the state and the rescue services of other states invited to help prevent the disaster and to eliminate the subsequent consequences
- To put forward proposals regarding the formation, maintenance and storage of the state material reserves in accordance with the provisions specified in the regulatory enactments on the state material reserves
- Upon the request of the State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service, to provide information regarding the resources at the disposal of the local government for the management of disasters
- To organise instruction for the members of the Civil Protection Commission of the municipality and to participate in the civil protection instruction.
The State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service (SFRS) being the responsible authority for the civil protection and emergency operations is the overall coordinator among the state institutions.
The same structure as above applies to different types of disasters.
At national level
The legislative framework of Latvia's civil protection is based on the National Security Law adopted by Parliament in 2000 and the Civil Protection Law adopted by Parliament in 2006. The law stipulates a clear set of roles and responsibilities for the civil protection of local governments and institutions.
At ministerial and inter-ministerial level
At ministerial level and in relation to inter-ministerial cross-cutting coordination governmental decisions and regulations for different aspects concerning disaster management are in place.
At regional level
This is not applicable to Latvia, as the country is administratively divided into municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction.
At local level
The general and specific legal framework mentioned above covers civil protection arrangements at the local level.
The Civil Protection Law stipulates the tasks and rights of the private sector.
According to the Civil Protection Law, associations of persons and other residents may enter the system voluntarily.
At international level
International intervention is governed by political agreements.
The State Fire and Rescue Service develops the bilateral cooperation relations in the field of disaster management with neighbouring countries and other countries in Europe and initiates steps for signing agreements with other countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Belarus, Ukraine and Hungary).
Latvia has a regional agreement with the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), which is an overall political forum for regional inter-governmental cooperation.
Agreements are made with private companies (mass media, transportation, accommodation, psychological assistance etc).
There are voluntary fire-fighters in some municipalities.