With a keynote speech by Dr Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia
The Embassy of Latvia to the UK, in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), invites you to a keynote speech by Dr Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia (1999-2007). Her speech, marking the founding in 1918 of the Republic of Latvia, will be followed by a panel discussion with Sergei Guriev, EBRD Chief Economist and Professor of Economics at Sciences Po, Paris; and Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Studies, Oxford University. The discussion will be moderated by Alexia Latortue, EBRD Managing Director for Corporate Strategy.
It has been one hundred years since an independent Latvia emerged onto the world stage in 1918. From its inception, the Republic of Latvia enshrined equal rights for women and men in law; its constitution granted universal suffrage. It is also the centenary of another historic event: the UK suffrage act, which allowed some women in this country to vote for the first time.
These processes, taking place at the same time in different parts of Europe, were not coincidental. In fact, they were outcomes of the inspirational, albeit challenging process of achieving self-determination and individual freedom across Europe in the aftermath of World War I.
This discussion will take an engaging, critical look at a century of progress and occasional setbacks in the struggle for equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women across Eastern and Western Europe. As the year 2018 has dramatically shown, this process remains very much a work in progress.
Dr Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia, is an enduring, inspirational example of a woman in politics shaping the direction of her country and having an impact on broader geopolitical processes – most importantly European and transatlantic integration. She was the first woman to become a head of state in Eastern Europe and is currently the President of the World Leadership Alliance / Club de Madrid, a forum for former democratic presidents and prime ministers from around the world. She is the first woman to lead this organisation.
Doors will open for registration at 17.15. The discussion will begin promptly at 18.00, followed by a Q&A session and drinks reception.
Admission is free and EBRD staff members need not register. External guests will have to register online by Friday 23 March 2018.
Please note that all guests must bring a form of identification and may be subject to a random bag search. For more information about our events, including how to get to the EBRD, please see our FAQs.
This event was made possible by the Embassy of Latvia to the UK. It marks the centenary of Latvia’s statehood.