On the Future of Democracy with Egils Levits, President of Latvia, moderated by Fareed Zakaria
YES Online Conversation
#YESUkraine
Egils Levits, President of Latvia

Fareed Zakaria, Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN (Moderator)

Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation, Chairman of the Board of YES (Introduction)
English
Ukrainian translation
Since 2004, Yalta European Strategy has been the main non-governmental platform for connecting the world and Ukraine. The YES Annual Meetings have brought together world political, business leaders and thinkers to discuss Ukraine's future and pressing global challenges.

Read more about YES and Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

The YES team will be happy to answer any questions at [email protected] or +380 67 852 41 69 / +380 67 583 41 67
Speaker and moderator
Egils Levits
President of Latvia
Fareed Zakaria
Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN (Moderator)
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation, Chairman of the Board of YES (Introduction)
Show all biographies
Egils Levits
President of Latvia
The President of Latvia Egils Levits is a Latvian lawyer and political scientist.

He was born in Riga on 30 June 1955.

In 1972, he graduated from Riga Secondary School No. 2, and then he immigrated with his family to Germany, where he graduated from the Munster Latvian Grammar School in 1973.

In 1982, Mr Levits graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Hamburg.

In 1986, he graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and Public Science at the University of Hamburg.

Mr Levits has actively participated in the restoration of Latvia in 1989-1991. He was a Member of the Council of the Latvian People's Front and the Congress of Citizens. He is an author of the concept of the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of Latvia of 4 May 1990.

Mr Levits was the first Minister of Justice after full restoration of the Constitution, the first Ambassador of Latvia to Germany after restoration of the country, the first Latvian judge at the European Court of Human Rights (1995 - 2004), and the first Latvian judge at the European Court of Justice.

He has been a co-author of many significant draft laws (including the Law on the Constitutional Court of Latvia, Administrative Procedure Law, Law on the Structure of the Cabinet of Ministers, etc.). Mr Levits is also the author of the Preamble or Introduction to the Constitution adopted in 2014.

Author of many scientific publications on the issues regarding state law, administrative law, human rights, and democracy. Mr Levits has provided many opinions on various legal and political and legal issues to the Latvian Parliament (Saeima), the Cabinet of Ministers, various ministries, the Constitutional Court, other courts, public authorities, the institutions of the European Union, and international institutions. He publishes regularly on development challenges in Latvia.

Mr Levits has been the Ambassador of Latvia to Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland, as well as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, and Member of the Parliament.

He has chaired the Commission of the Constitutional Law of the President of Latvia (2007- 2013).

Judge at the European Court of Justice (2004. - 2019).

Apart from the native Latvian language, he mastered four foreign languages - English, French, German, and Russian.

Awards:
  • Order of the Three Stars, Class IV (2000)
  • Cross of Recognition, Class I (2005)
  • Public Dignity Award Cicero in the international category for advocating high standards of justice (2011)
  • Memorial Award of Dietrich André Loeber of the Latvian Academy of Sciences for an outstanding contribution to the development of Latvian jurisprudence (2013)
  • Class I insignia of the judicial system for the outstanding lifelong contribution to the development of the Latvian judicial system, the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in Latvia and in the world (2013)
  • Letter of Recognition by the Cabinet of Ministers on outstanding contribution to the development of jurisprudence and legislation (2016)
  • Award by the Cabinet of Ministers for significant contribution to the development of the Latvian judicial system, the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law, and scientific achievements in justice (2018)
  • European of the Year 2018 in Latvia (2018)
  • Honorary Doctor of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (2002), Honorary Doctor of the School of Business Administration Turiba (2019).
Fareed Zakaria
Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN (Moderator)
Fareed Zakaria has hosted CNN's flagship international affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, since 2008. He has interviewed Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, among others. The program earned the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011, and in 2009 it earned an Emmy nomination for a rare interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Zakaria is also a columnist for The Washington Post and the bestselling author of In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015), The Post-American World (2008) and The Future of Freedom (2003). The latter books have been translated into over 25 languages. His latest book is Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.

Zakaria was named a "Top 10 Global Thinker of the Last 10 Years" by Foreign Policy magazine in 2019, and Esquire once named him "one of the 21 most important people of the 21st Century." In 2010, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan, one of its highest civilian honors.
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation, Chairman of the Board of YES (Introduction)
Born on 15 November 1954 in Białogard (Poland), he studied Economy at the University of Gdańsk from 1973 to 1977. He was activist in students organization, Editor-in-Chief of the student weekly "ITD" (1981-1984) and co-founder of the first polish computer magazine "Bajtek".

Mr. Kwaśniewski was member of PZPR Party (Polish United Workers' Party) and Minister in the Government of Poland from 1985 to 1990. He was President of the Polish Olympic Committee from 1988 to 1991. He was Co- founder and first chairman of the Social Democracy of Poland in 1990.

Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) from 1993 to 1995, he was Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly. Mr. Kwaśniewski is co-author of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, which was adopted in 1997. In 1995 he was appointed President of Poland (against Mr. Wałęsa) and was reelected in 2000.

Mr. Kwaśniewski was a great advocate of Poland membership in NATO (achieved 1999) and European Union (Poland joined the EU in 2004).

An active spokesman and inventor of many initiatives for regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, Mr. Kwaśniewski gave a longstanding support of Ukrainian independence. He was a mediator on behalf of UE during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and Special envoy of EP in Ukraine (together with Pat Cox) in 2013-2014. He is also author of numerous initiatives for reconciliation between Poles and the German, Jewish, and Ukrainian people.

After the Presidency he become Chairman of the Board of Yalta European Strategy, honorary professor at Georgetown University, member of the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States, member of the Club de Madrid.
PREVIOUS YES Online Conversation
Made on
Tilda