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Themes and Presenters

Aija Žīgure, President of Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Doctoral studies at University of Latvia (2002-2006)
M.A in Economics with Specialisation in Statistics, University of Latvia

President of the CSB since 1998. From 1995 to 1998 Vice President of the CSB. Started her employment with the CSB in 1974. She has worked in trade and price statistics, where she was Director of the Price Statistics Department since 1993.

Mariana Kotzeva, Deputy Director-General, Eurostat

Ph.D. in Economics, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria
Master of Arts in Economics, University of the State of New York and Central European University Prague
M.A. in Economics, Specialization Statistics, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria

July 2014 to date: Deputy Director-General, Eurostat. April 2012 to June 2014: Adviser Hors Classe at Eurostat. Previously for several years was President of the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria. She has also been involved in design and evaluation of strategic policy documents at the Administration of the President of The Republic of Bulgaria and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of Bulgaria. She has been advisor in the United Nations Development Programme and during the development of National Employment Strategy of the Republic of Serbia.


European statistics: making the difference

In today's ocean of data coming from various sources, it is crucial for Eurostat and the National Statistical Institutes in the Member States to be recognized as the trustworthy source of statistical information on people, economy and environment in Europe. Official statistics is the one that makes the difference in the data deluge because it is comparable, impartial, sustainable and of high quality.

Production of European statistics is based on the same sound methodology in all EU countries which gives the possibility for any user of national data to compare his/her country with another Member State. Methodology used for producing statistics is publicly available and respects professional independence. Quality of data is verified against a set of very demanding criteria while also ensuring the privacy of data providers and the confidentiality of the information provided. Finally, statistics are disseminated in an impartial and transparent manner.

The way in which European statistics are communicated is another important element for making a difference in the world of "fast food" information. European statistics should be attractive and user-friendly in order to be a preferred source of information. Over the past few years, Eurostat has tried to improve the communication of European statistics by implementing a new and more attractive website with easier access to data and by developing new visualisation tools. Among these tools, recent infographics, such as "Economic trends", "Young Europeans" or "Quality of Life", showed that European statistics may be of interest for less experienced users and can also make the difference in terms of attractiveness and relevance for a large public.

In the latest user satisfaction survey carried out in 2014 by Eurostat, results showed that 95% of users trusted European statistics. This trust has no price but cannot be taken for granted. It has to be continuously earned by Eurostat and the NSIs.

Philippe Bautier, Head of the dissemination unit, Eurostat

PhD in Macroeconomics at the University of Rennes (France)

Since January 2014, he is the head of the dissemination unit. He arrived at Eurostat in 1990 where he worked in different domains: price statistics, statistical cooperation, and finally communication where he became head of unit in 2006. During the eighties, Ph. Bautier taught Economics at the University of Rennes.


Panel "European and Latvian labour market flexibility, social inclusion and welfare"

Panel discussions aim at analysing the available statistical data on welfare, social inclusion and the Latvian labour market in relation to ageing, international migration, internal mobility, labour force's ability to adapt to new requirements, structural changes and geopolitical events.
Does the labour market show signs of improvement or stagnation?
What is the natural rate of unemployment in Latvia?
What conclusions can be drawn by company and HR managers?
What is the opinion of labour market policy-makers on long-term development of the Latvian economy, and on the advantages and disadvantages in an international context?
What welfare, poverty and social inclusion indicators are the best at characterising the situation and what indicators still are to be developed?

Ruta Zilvere

University of Latvia Master's Degree in Philosophy. Post-graduate programme in demography at Moscow State University.

Long-term experience in the field of social policy at the Ministry of Welfare and the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union. Since 2010 Ruta Zilvere works as an independent expert and consultant for various social projects. In her blog she shares her observations, analysis and opinion on events taking place in the social field.


Anna Zdanoviča

Master’s degree in economics (University of Latvia), with distinction. Currently a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of Latvia.

Research fellow at BICEPS. Her main research interests include tax policy and tax-benefit microsimulations.

Transfer of tax burden from labour force to immovable property: impact on poverty, income inequality and well-being



Anita Gaile

Master of Business Administration, University of Latvia. PhD Candidate in Business Administration at Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration (RISEBA). Research theme - employment relations.

Ten years of work experience in HR management at JSC „Air Baltic Corporation”, Embassy of United Kingdom and JSC „Citadele banka”. Currently works as an independent change architect and human resources expert.


Development of employment relations: organisational and individual patterns

Organisation and management of work in different organisations and employment relations are triggered by changes in the external environment: information technology development, demography and socio-cultural factors. Organisations are becoming flatter, substituting or adding matrix, network and virtual work organisation solutions to hierarchical structures. Each of them requires a different competence and attitude from the individuals working for the respective organisation. Macroeconomic factors demonstrate economy development as a quite stable process, whereas unemployment fluctuates significantly along the course, implying that individuals should adapt more self-centred attitudes when pursuing their professional careers.  

Evija Kūla

Professional Master's Degree in Social Sciences, qualification of public administration manager. A number of publications in the field of social inclusion.

13 years of work experience at the Ministry of Welfare with social inclusion policy issues: analysis of poverty and social exclusion indicators, drafting of policy planning documents in the field of social inclusion. Since 2006, representative of Latvia at the Social Protection Committee (Indicators Sub-group).

Use of EU-SILC data in poverty reduction policy before and after crisis

EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions provides valuable information on welfare, poverty and social inclusion in Latvia and other EU Member States. To what extent are these indicators used for policy-making purposes? Are the main data providers (the policy target group) aware of their role and significance in this "respondent-data-policy" process?

Zaiga Krišjāne

PhD.. in Geography, University of Latvia

Professor at Human Geography Department of the University of Latvia. In 2014 she was awarded with Annual Reward of the University of Latvia for original and extensive research.  Her research topic is migration.  

Youth migration trends

Panel "Statistical data for evaluation of economic development"

Latvian key planning documents such as development strategy"Strategy Latvia 2030" and "National Development Plan of Latvia for 2014-2020" list the aims that the government undertakes to achieve within the prescribed period, as well as formulates the shared vision of objectives to be reached in health, education, culture and science, and other fields of priority.

Are the planning documents based on the most relevant indicators for measuring country’s development?

Latvian economic development rates in the context of current geopolitical events: sanctions, anti-sanctions, oil prices, etc.

Dainis Gašpuitis

M.A in International Economics and Business, University of Latvia
Bachelor’s degree in Law, University of Latvia

Economist at SEB Bank. Economic analysis of Latvia, Baltics and the rest of the world. Analytic publications (SEB Macroeconomic review, SEB Eastern European Outlook). Communication with media and society.
Bank of Latvia, economist, External Communication Sector. Latvian and international economy stability monitoring and economic policy analysis. Coordinator of communication with International Monetary Fond Baltic – Nordic group. 

Normunds Ozols

Mag.oec., PhD Candidate in Economics

Head of Economic Development and Labour Market Forecasting Section of the Ministry of Economy (Economic Policy Department). Previously has worked as the leading researcher at Labour Market Forecasting Division of the Central Statistical Bureau (Statistics Research Department). Normumds Ozols lectures a course "Quantitative Methods in Economy" at Riga Technical University and has worked as a researcher at the Institute of National and Regional Economy. Since 2008 – a national expert at Skill Supply and Demand Forecasts for Europe project implemented by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training; member of Skillsnet.

Labour Force Survey data for medium and long-term labour market forecasting in Latvia

The Ministry of Economy draws up Latvian medium and long-term labour market forecasts on a regular basis. Forecasts are one of the tools in the hands of the policy-makers that allows early detection of any labour market nonconformities and thus enables implementation of proactive labour market policy. In turn, high-quality data are an important prerequisite for making reliable forecasts. For this purpose the Ministry of Economy uses the data obtained in the Labour Force Survey. What are the advantages and deficiencies of the Labour Force Survey data in forecasting labour market development?

Agnese Rutkovska

Agnese Rutkovska has acquired Business Administration Master's Degree with Honours at the University of Latvia. From 2001 to 2004 she lectured a course "System of National Accounts" to master's programme students of the BA School of Business and Finance.

Agnese Rutkovska has been working for the Bank of Latvia already since 2001. Previously she worked at the National Accounts Section of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia where she strengthened her skills in calculating macroeconomic indicators. Her current responsibilities include Latvian real sector analysis and forecasting (in particular Gross Domestic Product expenditure evaluation).

Investments in research and development in Latvia. What do data tell us?
Investments in research and research in Latvia in comparison with other European countries: European Union (EU-28) and / or the Eurozone (EZ-18). What are the Latvian and EU objectives and prospects for achieving the set objectives?

Jānis Hermanis

M.A in Business Economics. Main research topics – macroeconomics analysis of Latvia and other countries, analysis of sectors of economy.

Since 2014 works as national economy development expert at Employers’ Confederation of Latvia. 7 years’ experience in audit company and 13 years’ experience in bank sector.
Working in bank sector he has implemented various credit risk evaluation systems for enterprises and sectors as well as carried out socio-economic indicator analysis and forecasting. Follows statistical releases from national and international sources on regular basis.

Labour market in Latvia. Migration and demography – key future challenges
Lately employment and unemployment indicators in Latvia have improved and income of the employed and purchasing power have exceeded the pre-crisis level. However, demographic situation and emigration process can set limits to the Latvian economic development and international competitiveness.

Vladislavs Vesperis

Dr.oec. in Regional Economy, Latvia University of Agriculture, specialising in regional development, rural engineering and sustainable development.

Since 2011 works as Head of Development Monitoring and Evaluation Division at the Cross-Sectoral Coordination Centre. Previously worked as Head of unit at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and took part in drafting of the Latvian Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 and its monitoring report. Member of the expert team for National Development Plan 2010.

Evidence-based development planning and assessment in Latvia
Recent developments both in the world and in Latvia prove that sustainable development and long-term planning serve as a significant precondition not only in the financial sector, but also for each individual and the entire society. However, successful planning requires knowledge and evidence that help to make the right choices between alternatives, help to set objectives that contribute to public welfare growth, and provide a balance between the key development aspects. Besides, this evidence must also be measurable.

Panel "Statistical data in media"

Rudīte Spakovska

Latvian Radio I, journalist

Data and journalists
Presentation will focus on main problems of data on their way to journalists and society. What are the challenges of journalists whose professional skills do not include data analysis, but data are needed to support opinion with facts. Data gap – main data producers and important data users offer data collections, more and more sophisticated systems that are difficult to understand for end user.

Inga Spriņģe

2010-2011 Fulbright/Humphrey Fellowship Program in Maryland University, USA. During this Program she had professional practice in The Washington Post and leading USA non-profit investigative journalism organisation The Center for Public Integrity.


For six years Inga Spriņģe has worked in the leading Latvian newspaper Diena. Spriņģe has been a lecturer at the University of Latvia and the president of the Latvian Association of Journalists. Inga Spriņģe is the founder of the investigative journalism centre Re: Baltica. At the moment she is editor at Re: Baltica and also works as presenter for various analytic TV shows at the Latvian Television.

Why are journalists not in love with numbers and get lost in figures?
Presentation is devoted to experience in searching for and using official statistics for investigative journalism when doing research on issues important for the society – social inequality, corruption and lack of transparency in decision making. How to facilitate new methods in data collection and analysis in Baltic journalism.

Daiga Kiopa

For more than 10 years works in Lursoft IT, since 2008 – Board Member. Represents the enterprise actively taking part in Employers’ Confederation, Competence Council of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association.

From data to research

Statistical data provides useful information on many processes and when compiled and analysed professionally is an invaluable help for detecting trends and decision making. The role of media as information source for the general public is very important for this information to reach the audience. How do the data travel from the survey to the research and what is the role of media in this process? Can any numbers branded as statistical data? Does any kind of research get media coverage?