Published: 10.11.2016

Latvijas Banka will actively engage in Latvia's centenary programme by contributing contents consistent with its role. It will ensure research on significant developments in the financial history of Latvia and assessment of the contribution of outstanding personalities. Also, a number of commemorative and collector coin series and several coins dedicated to the foundation of an independent state will be created.

The programme for Latvia's centenary celebration is based on the concept of involving the general public, each individual and institution in the process of creating the celebration and the associated long-lasting values. Preparations for Latvia's centenary will commence with the tasks and events planned already for 2017, but the festivities and activities celebrating Latvia will continue for five years. Latvijas Banka will conclude Latvia's centenary celebration by marking the 100th anniversary of the national central bank on 1 November 2022.

"Almost a thousand diverse event cycles have been incorporated in the plan for marking Latvia's centenary. The centenary is a unique moment we would like each and everyone in Latvia to feel and experience because Latvia is not just a name – it embraces each of us. The centenary is not merely a day of celebration, it spans events and activities over a period of five years. But it is particularly important to create long-lasting values for passing the centenary message to our children and grandchildren. Therefore, I appreciate Latvijas Banka's involvement, including the creation of unique coins dedicated to the anniversary," said Dace Melbārde, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, Governor of Latvijas Banka: "The principal task of Latvijas Banka is to maintain the stability of Latvia's currency as a basis for successful operation of Latvia's businesses, management of public finances, the financial system, and planning of the private finances. That was our main task during both periods when the lats was our currency and also now when we have the single European currency. In my opinion, it is the performance of the mission of delivering currency stability that marks the role of Latvijas Banka in the process of the development of the national state and strengthening its independence."

Firstly, in the framework of identifying the context of the formation of Latvia's statehood, Latvijas Banka plans to finalise the commenced research on the history of Latvia's national central bank as part of the development of Latvia and its national economy, inviting historians Ineta Lipše and Kaspars Zellis to research the above issues. Events, developments and personalities having played a crucial role in the history of Latvia – in politics and many areas in culture and art – have been identified and documented. The same has to be done in the history of finances, and Latvijas Banka will provide its contribution – the researchers' findings – by identifying the historical materials, systematising and making them available to the general public in 2017–2022.

Secondly, by paving new inroads, Latvijas Banka will promote the development of the integrated discipline of the history of economics. This direction of economic research is critically essential for developing the economic thought and understanding the modern economic processes in a wider context. In the traditional Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers, organised by Latvijas Banka, Juris Vīksniņš Award will be established and presented in 2018 to the author of the best paper dedicated to the history of economics.

Thirdly, highlighting our neighbouring countries with whom we share much of history, Latvijas Banka will dedicate its economic conference in 2018 to the progress of the Baltic–Nordic region. Also, the first coin with a common design of the Baltic States will be developed: in the centenary year the national central banks of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will jointly issue a 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the foundation of the three independent states 100 years ago.

And fourthly, in the context of celebrating Latvia and preparing gifts for Latvia on its anniversary, Latvijas Banka, together with artists, will dedicate selected coin art projects to it. Of them, two coin programmes should be particularly noted: a series of three gold collector coins "Gold Brooches" and four 2 euro commemorative coins dedicated to Latvia's cultural and historical regions; all the above coins will be issued in 2016–2018. Along with announcing Latvijas Banka's programme for Latvia's centenary, the first two coins of these programmes – the gold collector coin "Gold Brooches. The Disc Fibula" and the 2 euro commemorative coin "Vidzeme" – will be launched. A special state anniversary coin is planned to be designed by involving children in its creation. Already on 14 November 2016 Latvijas Banka will announce a competition of children's drawings "My Latvia". The best drawing will be used in the design of a coin to be issued in 2018.

Latvijas Banka is the central bank of Latvia – an independent institution and a member of the Eurosystem. The primary objective of Latvijas Banka is the same as that of the central banks of other euro area countries and the European Central Bank price stability (inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term). This is an essential precondition for a strong and growth-oriented economy. To achieve that, Latvijas Banka participates in the formulation of the Eurosystem's monetary policy, related decision-making and implementation.

Furthermore, acting in the public and economic interests, Latvijas Banka carries out the following main tasks within the Eurosystem:

manages foreign reserves;
issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
promotes smooth operation of the payment systems;
compiles financial and monetary statistics, as well as balance of payments statistics;
maintains and develops the Credit Register.

Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka enhance the public understanding of the fundamentals of the economy and the monetary system and the current situation. Latvijas Banka takes an active part in promoting economic education among the general public.