The EU financial assistance to Latvia with €4.6 billion through the Union’s cohesion policy funding up to 2027 is aimed at supporting economic growth, territorial cohesion and improving social fairness. EU funding will be invested in national green and digital transitions, in boosting innovation in the economy, as well as in healthcare and social services.
All EU member state have been preparing so-called Partnership Agreements with the Commission, which are reflecting strategic investments from numerous EU supporting instruments, such as Cohesion Policy funds (ERDF, ESF+ and the Cohesion Fund), Just Transition Funds (JTF) and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework. The Partnership Agreements focus on the EU priorities and political guidance, laying down the strategy and investment priorities identified by each member state.
Latvia has adopted three national programs and 10 cross-border programs for the implementation of investments, including annual financial allocation for each program. LV-EU partnership agreement reflects Latvia’s strong commitment to the coordinated use of the Cohesion Policy funds with the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Latvia is the 23rd EU member state to receive financial support not only strategic guidelines for its recovery-resilience program but also for green and digital transition. However, it has to be noted that the Commission’s decision has come at, probably, the right time: October’s parliament election visualized some new political ambitions in county’s development; the EU’s financial injections might be a vital “helping hand” for implementing them…
The opinion of the members of the Commission’s College
= Commissioner for Cohesion Policy noted that through the last decade the EU’s cohesion policy already helped Latvia in increasing prosperity and quality of life, in providing for better infrastructure and improved access to services. New commonly agreed measures will further boost country’s growth towards a more competitive, greener, and fairer economy. Hopefully, added the Commissioner, badly needed financial assistance will generate long term benefits for all people in Latvia.
= Commissioner for employment and social rights added that Latvia promised to use ESF+ funding to help equip workers with the skills needed for perspective jobs. Besides, the agreement will also bring improvements in the social spheres, in healthcare and education in Latvia. At the same time, the €32.5 million in funding aimed at food supply and basic material assistance will provide a lifeline to people in need.
= Commissioner for environment, seas and fisheries underlined that “European blue economy plays a crucial role in supporting coastal communities and, generally, in decarbonising national economy. Thus the partnership agreement will help Latvia to build a resilient and sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors involved, as well as reinforcing the economic and social vitality of coastal communities. It will support the green and digital transition through innovation and environmentally friendly technologies and the sustainable management of its aquatic resources.
All citations from: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/da/ip_22_6249/ 21.x.2022
EU-Latvia partnership: vial details
The following are the main directions of the financial aspects in the EU-LV partnership agreement for up to 2027:
= Green transition and mobility, innovation and research. About €840 million under the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund will be invested in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to increase the country’s energy security, energy efficiency and resilience to climate change. About €823 million will be directed to research and innovation, and to increase the digitalisation of SMEs.
Major part of the EU support of €1.2 billion will support integrated territorial development, sustainable multimodal urban mobility, such as trams, cycling paths and electric vehicle charging infrastructure; these investments will also improve road safety and modernise railways.
Finally, €192 million in this support category will come from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) aimed to assist implementation of Latvian-2030 strategic plan, in part to gradually stop using peat for energy and to restore peat extraction sites; however, national energy sector will be working towards a fair transition to climate neutrality.
= Investments in social fairness. This is another major direction in Latvian perspective growth: about €1.2 billion from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and the ERDF will be invested to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. The funding will improve access to affordable and quality social services, healthcare and community-based long-term care.
Latvia will also use the funding to invest in people’s skills, from young to old. In particular, funds will be used to train people in skills needed to master the digital and green transitions and to improve access to education, from early childhood education to vocational education and training. This will help Latvia to meet its Porto social targets in employment and training.
Cohesion Policy funding will equally support social housing for the most vulnerable groups, and activation measures for jobseekers and people at risk of unemployment. Latvia will use the funding to invest in the social integration of persons at risk of poverty.
Finally, the Commission also approved Latvia’s program worth €32.5 million to provide food and basic necessities to more than 59,000 of the most deprived persons every year, including people fleeing Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
= Supporting sustainable fishery. The situation in the Baltic Sea remains difficult, as the sea basin continues to struggle with severe environmental pressures, such as eutrophication, and many challenges to the ecosystems, including the state of the fish stocks. The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund’s (EMFAF) allocation of €135 million will increase the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, promote innovation, protect biodiversity, foster a sustainable blue economy and ensure wellbeing in coastal communities.
General reference: Commission press release on 21.x.2022 in: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/da/ip_22_6249
Additional information in the following Commission websites: = 2021-2027 long-term EU budget & NextGenerationEU; = Questions and Answers on the EU Cohesion policy legislative package 2021-2027; = Breakdown of Cohesion policy allocations per Member State; = 2021-2027 Partnership Agreements; and = Cohesion Open Data Platform