Saeima of the Republic of Latvia: EU and media training masterclasses

This is the logo for the Latvia Saeima

Client: Saeima of the Republic of Latvia

Programme: EU and media training masterclasses

(Delivered in Riga, Latvia, 2014)

The client

The Saeima is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a unicameral parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation. The head of the Saeima is the Speaker. http://www.saeima.lv/en

The problem

Owing to the successes of previous and ongoing projects with the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the Latvian Saeima approached us to put together a bespoke programme for parliamentarians. Ahead of January 2015, when Latvia assumes the Presidency of the Council of the EU, a delegation of parliamentarians requested a programme consisting of two one-day masterclasses on EU relations and media training. As the 12th Saeima elections were scheduled just before the proposed delivery date, it was essential to keep timings flexible to fit the schedule of the soon to be appointed parliamentarians.

Our actions

Dods Training worked quickly to put together the two masterclasses. It was imperative to tailor the programmes to suit the audience and retain a degree of flexibility to allow for existing commitments of parliamentarians and live interpretation for some delegates on the day.

Utilising our well-established network of training consultants, we were able to call upon experts to develop and deliver the programmes. Day one, focusing on EU relations, was delivered by a former MEP. It covered the key aspects of the Lisbon Treaty regarding relations between national parliaments and EU institutions, discussed how to influence EU policy and explored the role of national politicians during a member state’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Day two was split in half with the morning in plenary outlining the current media landscape, journalistic terminology and interview theory and technique. The afternoon offered the opportunity for one-on-one media consultancy and practice interviews in front of a camera and individual analysis. The day was structured to allow participants to ask questions wherever they felt relevant and receive personal, confidential feedback on any challenging areas. The programme was held in the Latvian Parliament buildings in Riga.

Conclusion

Both masterclasses were very well received and sections of the programme were attended by the most senior members of parliament. Participants particularly enjoyed how the training had been tailored to suit their roles and existing experience. Delegates also commented on how the trainers had created an enjoyable and comfortable learning environment which encouraged fruitful debate and dialogue and allowed for constructive feedback.