Association of Latvians in Sweden

The Association of Latvians in Sweden (ZLA) is the central Latvian organisation in Sweden founded in 2013, uniting the activities of former Latvian Aid Committee and Sweden Latvian Central Council. ZLA unites Sweden Latvians in one common organisation.
The aim of the ZLA is to gather information about and support Latvians, who live in Sweden and, who wish to promote maintaining of Latvian language, culture and identity. ZLA in all Sweden promotes and supports Latvian activities and initiatives that promote the consummation of this aim.
ZLA tries to keep contacts and strengthen Sweden Latvian bonds with the society in Latvia and other Latvian Diaspora countries of residence. ZLA promotes Sweden Latvians’’ participation in Latvia’s social processes to strengthen democracy and civil society in Latvia.

ZLA represents the opinion of the Latvians living in Sweden in communication with Swedish institutions and society, Latvia’s parliament, institutions, and the society and other Latvian Diaspora communities.
ZLA is a politically neutral organisation; it supports free and sovereign Latvia in Europe, democratic society, political discussion and freedom of speech.

ZLA work is organised in 8 departments in all Swedish territory. Each department states its own work and is independent. In the ZLA exist such departments:

  • Latvian Society of South Sweden,
  • Latvian Union in Gothenburg,
  • Latvian School in Stockholm,
  • Stockholm Latvian Choir,
  • Uppsala Latvian Society,
  • Stockholm Department (previously Latvian Society of Middle Sweden),
  • Middle Sweden Department in Orebro,
  • Northern Sweden Department.

The Association of Latvians in Sweden is a member of the World Free Latvian Union and European Latvian Union.

To be a member of the ZLA can every Sweden Latvian or non-resident, who supports ZLA aims and joins one of the ZLA departments.

ZLA leads the council and central Board that are elected to 3 years.  
ZLA Council consists of 18 elected members and representatives chosen by the ZLA departments – one person per each department. ZLA Council comes to meetings not rarely than once a year. ZLA Council meetings call the Central Board. In the Council meeting can participate all ZLA members, but the voting rights are only for the Council members. ZLA Council makes decisions about the work of the Central Board, accepts Central Board’s reviews about public and economic work, inspection’s committee report, and confirms the ZLA budget and guidelines for the future work.
ZLA Council elects Central Board that leads the ZLA corresponding to the statutes and Board decisions. 5-7 members are elected in the Board to 3 years. The Board elects from among members the chairman, vice-chairman, person responsible for members and the cashier.

ZLA Chairman is Juris Rozītis, the Vice-Chairman is Ilze Šakare.


ZLA is a meeting place for all, who wish to meet the compatriots and who care for the maintaining of the Latvian identity. The establishing of the ZLA marked new stage in the united activities of Sweden Latvians, creating new, topical organisation’s model that corresponds to nowadays Latvian community needs, preserving the bonds with the already existing Latvian society structures and based on the rich and important history and experience of the  Latvian organisations in Sweden.
ZLA offers opportunity for every Latvian living in Sweden to participate in the development of the Latvian society and to implement his/her ideas by joining one of departments. Each department adapts its work to its members’ needs and demands. The departments have opportunity to receive a financing and support from the ZLA Central Board.  
The work of the ZLA help to organise and the work support especially developed several work groups from different branches.  
Under the wing of ZLA works the Political Group that organises debates and circulation of the information corresponding to elections of Saeima and European Parliament, as well as other important socially political activities in Latvia. The historians of the work group work together to explain important questions for Latvia in Sweden and can consult the ZLA Central Board about necessity to express its opinion in separate important for Latvia’s and Latvians’ interests questions.
ZLA has Information and Communication Work Group; it has its own Home Page www.zla.se. Its editor is Aira Miķelsone.


Zviedrijas Latviešu Apvienība, Wallingatan 34, 111 24 Stockholm

E-mail: info@zla.se 

Information and Communication Work Group:
E-mail: redakcija@zla.se

Phone: 46 08 214425

Home Pages:



At the end of the World War II more than 4500 Latvian refugees went to Sweden. The biggest part went with boats from Kurzeme’s coast in 1944 – 1945. Later Latvians, who had gone as refugees to Germany, as well as Latvian legionnaires joined them. After the war there was information about approximately 6000 Latvian refugees in Sweden. After 1946, when Swedish government extradited Latvian legionnaires to USSR, a lot of Latvians went from Sweden to the USA, Canada and other countries. In 1952 in Sweden there were not more than 4000 Latvians.
Until 2013 for the Latvian living in Sweden main activities for many decades led two important, historic organisations – Latvian Aid Committee (LPK) and Sweden Latvian Central Council (ZLCP) that ended their activities in former way, when new organisation was founded.
Latvian Aid Committee was founded in 1945 and its aim was to offer help for Latvian refugees. In the course of time its aims changed and the organisation supported different Sweden Latvian activities – Latvian schools, children camps, choirs and other events. From 2007 the organisation changed its structure so that it would correspond to Sweden laws, departments were founded, started work in establishing united Latvian organisation. LPK changed its name to the Association of Latvians in Sweden. Since 2013 this name brings the new, united Sweden Latvians’ organisation.
In order to protect Latvian national interests in Sweden and to promote the independency of Latvia, the Latvian organisation representatives’ meeting founded Sweden Latvian Central Council (ZLCP) on February 15, 1953 in Stockholm. It was an organisation with a political trend founded to unite Sweden Latvians and include them in the exile Latvian political activities with an aim to restore free and independent Latvia.
On Sweden scale ZLCP actively followed the activities and decisions of Sweden government, activities in the society, actively reacting for the Latvian interests. ZLCP regularly informed Sweden institutions and mass media about the situation in Latvia during the occupation and Latvians’ wish to live in a free and sovereign country. ZLCP took care for the national upbringing of Latvian children and youth and supported Latvian schools. The publishing of the newspaper “Latvija” was supported that was published in Germany and later united with the newspaper „Londonas Avīze” (London Newspaper) became into the newspaper „Brīvā Latvija” (Free Latvia). ZLCP participated also in the organising of cultural events and celebrated Latvian State holidays, participated in European scale cultural events – European Latvian Song Festival, European Latvian Cultural Workers Congress and teachers’ conferences.
ZLCP as Sweden Latvians’ representation organisation entered the World Free Latvian Union and its representative works in the Union’s Board. Geographic nearness to Latvia made the ZLCP to be active member in the PBLA activities. ZLCP representatives stayed in contact and negotiated with Swedish and Nordic countries’ governments and politicians, participated in preparing of documents to European cooperation and safety conferences, participated in Latvian and Baltic freedom questions that wee trying to make interest to governments and mass media in Baltic freedom question. ZLCP organised demonstrations to remind the society about Baltic occupation.
ZLCP actively supported Awakening events, giving all the possible aid to the Awakening organisations and politicians in Latvia. After the restoring of the sovereign Latvia, the political work of the ZLCP started new way – it participated in different projects due to Latvia. The main aim now was the promoting of cooperation between Sweden and Latvia.  
In the course of time and changes of Swedish Latvians’ social structure, the most important Latvian organisation in Sweden saw the importance to change and on April 1, 2013 the work started the united Sweden Latvians organisation - the Association of Latvians in Sweden.