United we stand: narratives of Latvian leading politicians on unity and values of the European Union during Covid crisis (2020-2021)


The Covid-19 pandemic challenged the ability of governments to communicate their decisions. The problems encountered highlighted country-specific and long-unresolved issues. The object of the research is Latvia's leading politicians who have profiles on the most popular social media in Latvia - Facebook. The aim of this paper is to analyze narratives of those members of the Government and the Saeima who held positions related to the areas affected by the pandemic and find out how they communicated about the problems of the European Union (EU) and related topics during the Covid-19 crisis. The research case is relevant because Latvians have one of the lowest trust rates in the national parties, the parliament and the government. Also, in the first half of 2021, Latvia faced one of the lowest vaccination rate in the EU. That has influenced the communication of politicians, as decision-making can happen taking into account the mood and perceptions of the population.

The core values of the EU can be identified in the communication of Latvian politicians, permeating a wide range of issues, highlighting the importance of unity and mutual cooperation in the implementation of successful policies. Politicians don’t try to broaden the scope of values and goals, but it is possible to observe different interpretations of the breadth of values, adapting it to the position and political goal. Politicians also refer to the EU to cover own faults.

The results are useful for comparing examples of political communication practices during Covid-19 crisis and the reference to European values ​​in National political discourses.

 Keywords: Political communication, Narratives, Covid-19 pandemic, European Union, Latvia