Pilsētvides nodformējums Latvijas karogs un uzraksts ES 20 gadi

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Latvia's entry into the European Union (EU), Riga residents and guests are invited to attend a live concert at the National Library of Latvia "You are Home. You are the EU", view the city's environmental art objects, and take part in a flash mob with the largest EU flag in Latvia and the "Latvia shines in Europe" light campaign.

Concerts "You are home. You are the EU" and "There will always be a song"

On 1 May, Latvian Television Channel 1 from 16:00 will broadcast the concert story "You are home. You are the EU". Its main purpose is to invite everyone to realise the importance of national independence and the absolutely important decision Latvia has made to become a member of the European Union.

The central focus of the concert story is the window as our point of view on the wider world, but the world we see outside the window is our own, so it is in fact a stained glass window based on images of our values, which is illuminated by the light from the outside world. It is important to choose where to build the window in your home. We have chosen the correct direction.

The creation of the stained glass in this window to the European Union is also the main scenographic element of the concert story, which will be realised with a wall of LED screens in the scenography and with previous footage of the actual creation of the stained glass. The story, told through stained glass, unites all the themes used in the concert and is entrusted to the stained glass artist Anitra Bērziņa.

The gradual creation of the stained glass window is accompanied by three types of scenic events – a generalisation of the themes discussed in the Latvian folk wisdom performed by actors Gundars Grasbergs and Inga Misāne Grasberga, the meaning of this generalisation in the EU context in the conversations with various people of importance in the EU context that are led by experienced journalists Ilze Nagla and Jānis Geste, and the solidity of the common story in a high quality musical performance by the Riga Chamber Choir "Ave Sol" and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, under the guidance of artistic director and composer Raimonds Tiguls. The artistic concept and direction of the concert is created by Kārlis Anitens.

The concert "You are home. You are the EU" will be broadcast live on Latvian Television Channel 1, on the portal "lsm.lv" and on Latvian Radio, as well as on the LED screen at Brīvības Square.  

On 1 May at 13:00, a concert "There will always be a song" will be held in the Culture Centre "Imanta", with the voices of the male choir "Silvicola". Members of the forest workers' men's choir "Silvicola" invite you to a patriotic concert with repertoire "with the smell of the forest". The concert will include such works as "Zaļi vīri zilās jūras krastā", "Rīga dimd", "Motto", "Zaļu mežu šalkā", "Dvēseles dziesma", "Atziedi, dvēsele" and other choral songs.

From 1 May to 31 May, a conceptual event will take place at Victory Park with the outdoor object ‘Democratic Square’ (‘Demokrātiskais kvadrāts’). The outdoor installation by Ēriks Božs represents a democratic and inclusive society, revealing how we can see the whole picture of an object or process from different perspectives. The installation was created with the involvement of local residents.

Light campaign "Latvia shines in Europe"

To celebrate Latvia's 20th anniversary in the European Union, on 1 May, four Latvian cities – Riga, Rezekne, Cesis and Liepaja – will illuminate the colours of the European flag with festive installations. In Riga, the rays of light will reach the sky at the Freedom Monument, in Rezekne – at the Latgale Embassy "GORS", in Cesis – at the Vidzeme Concert Hall, and in Liepaja – at "Rose Square". Our chosen path – to live in a democracy and to be part of the European family of democracies – has brought us many benefits, but it has required and will continue to require much of our own work and strength to continue to stand up for democracy, freedom, human dignity, the rule of law and equality. In these challenging times, we all need a ray of light, pride for what we have achieved and inspiration for the future.

A similar event will take place in 16 other EU countries, where national and regional landmarks will also be illuminated to mark the anniversary of the EU's biggest enlargement yet.

On 1 May, from 12:00 to 24:00, a large-format LED screen at each of these locations will show a video about Latvia and the benefits of being part of the European Union. 

From 16:00 to 18:00, everyone will be able to enjoy the concert broadcast by Latvian Television on LED screens. When dusk falls, the installation will be accompanied by rays of light reaching up to the sky, recalling the colours of the European Union flag.

Flash mob with the biggest EU flag in Latvia #WeAreEurope

On 1 May at 15:30, the #WeAreEurope flash mob will take place from Dome Square to the Freedom Monument in Riga, where anyone can take part in a march through the Old Town carrying large Latvian and European Union flags.

At the end of the march, the participants of the flash mob, led by the Latvian Diplomatic Choir, will unite in a performance of the Latvian and EU anthems at the Freedom Monument. Flash mob participants are invited to take photos and share them on social media, using the hashtags #WeAreEurope and #LV20EU, demonstrating our affiliation to the European area of values. The flash mob is organised by the European Movement in Latvia in cooperation with the State Chancellery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Urban design

Riga will be decorated with Latvian and EU flags, as well as specially created design objects.

Three outdoor art objects will be exhibited in the city. The environmental design object "Radiance" will be on display in the forecourt of Āgenskalns Market, the object "Celebration Flag" will be on display in Victory Park, and the environmental object "Latvia" will delight Riga's residents and visitors in Doma Square, where they will be able to capture themselves, their family and friends in a photo with Latvia's name.

Open-air exhibition "The Cartoonist's Code - Myths and Truths about Latvia's EU and NATO Membership"

On 30 April, the State Chancellery, together with cartoonist Gatis Šļūka, will open an open-air exhibition "The Cartoonist's Code - Myths and Truths about Latvia's EU and NATO Membership". Both in the process of joining NATO and the EU, and as an active member state, Latvian society has had diverse discussions about the new ideas and changes, and various myths have emerged. That is why the exhibition on Linden Avenue in front of the Cabinet of Ministers building will invite you to take a look at ten myths, stereotypes and misconceptions about NATO and the EU with a smile and critically evaluate them with your own convictions. The opening event will take place on Tuesday, 30 April, at 11:00 in Linden Avenue in front of the Cabinet of Ministers building (36 Brīvības Boulevard).

The exhibition will be on display in Linden Avenue until 28 May this year, offering everyone the opportunity to appreciate the role and contribution of NATO and the EU in strengthening our shared values of democracy, security and the rule of law.

Information was prepared by: Aira Ancāne, project coordinator, Riga City Council Communication Administration External Communications Department, e-mail: aira.ancane@riga.lv