On 24 January 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the “The National Concept on Strategic Communication and Security of the Information Space 2023–2027” (hereinafter – the Concept).
The vision of the Concept is to contribute to the security of the information space, including through strategic communication, ensuring that public administration and society are resilient to external and internal risks of interference in democratic processes and information space, and are able to participate effectively in managing crises and threats.
The State Chancellery has fulfilled the government task to develop a centralised model for coordination of strategic communication and security of the information space by developing the first such Concept in Latvia.In the light of the information warfare capabilities and potential intentions by Russian and other authoritarian regimes to apply them against our country and society, we must take active steps, as the implementation of the Concept should be initiated immediately, in close cooperation with public administration and local governments, security services, independent institutions, as well as involving the non-governmental, academic, private sector and the broader society,” emphasises Rihards Bambals, Head of the Strategic Communication Department of the State Chancellery.
The Concept is intended to promote resilience of the public administration and society of Latvia against various manipulations, including disinformation and information influence operations, in the context of Russia’s war, by strengthening all three pillars of information space security over the next five years:
- national strategic communication capabilities;
- media environment;
- media and information literacy.
The Concept for 2023-2027 puts forward six main areas of action:
- implementation of national strategic communication and further development of its capability,
- measures to ensure resilience of the information space against security threats;
- strengthening and improving the media environment;
- a society that is involved and resilient to threats to the information space;
- partnership with organised civil society, private and academic sectors;
- international cooperation.
The model for coordination of strategic communication and security of the information space presented by the Concept can be applied both to day-to-day situations, in case of crisis and threats, and specific measures will allow for achievement of high-level resilience of public administration and public to external and internal interference risks.
The implementation of solutions provided in the Concept will strengthen society’s sense of belonging to Latvia, Europe and its values, and citizens’ support and trust in government policies and communication will gradually increase.
According to the Concept, Russia poses the main security risks and threats to the information space.
Latvian authorities will also pay particular attention to potential activities of the Chinese and Belarusian regimes in the coming years, as well as possible informational influence activities of other players against our country and society.
The Concept will be implemented according a semi-decentralised governance and coordination model, while ensuring comprehensive involvement of national and local-government authorities. At the strategic level, the State Chancellery will ensure the planning and inter-institutional coordination of medium- and long-term measures on a daily basis, as well as in case of crisis and threats. At tactical and operational level, the public administration institutions will, according to their competence, design and implement their strategic communication plans and strategies on a decentralized basis, as well as contribute to the strengthening of information space security.
The State Chancellery will monitor and coordinate the implementation of the Concept in cooperation with more than 20 public administration institutions, independent institutions, security services, as well as organised civil society, private and academic sectors. In order to implement the Concept, a plan (restricted access information) of intended measures has been designed with specifically defined activities and results to be achieved, the division of responsibilities between institutions, as well as deadlines for the implementation.
From 2024, the State Chancellery will report once a year on the results of implementation of the Concept.
The Strategic Communication Coordination Department is a contact point at the State Chancellery for the development and implementation of the Concept.