The European Commission has confirmed that Latvia will receive 4.6 billion euros in Cohesion Policy funding between 2021-2027 to support economic and territorial cohesion and social fairness. The announcement will allow Latvia to invest the EU funds in the green and digital transitions, boosting innovation in the economy and healthcare and social services.
The details and strategy for these investments are set out in the Partnership Agreement between Latvia and the Commission that was formally adopted on 21 October 2022.
“Thanks to Cohesion Policy, Latvia has experienced increased prosperity, better infrastructure and improved access to services and quality of life. The measures jointly agreed upon in this Partnership Agreement will further boost the development of the country to make a leap forward towards a more competitive, greener and fairer economy. Investments will generate long-term benefits for all people in Latvia”, said Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms.
Accelerating green growth in a time of crisis
Of these funds, 839 million euros 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.
Other 823 million euros will be directed to research and innovation and to increase the digitalisation of small and medium-sized businesses.
Moreover, 1.2 billion euros will support integrated territorial development and sustainable multimodal urban mobility (trams, cycling paths and electric vehicle charging infrastructure). Investments will also improve road safety and modernise railways.
Finally, 192 million euros from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will support Latvia’s 2030 plans to gradually stop using peat for energy and to restore peat extraction sites, while working towards a fair transition to climate neutrality.
As stated in the press release, 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 (EMFAF) has allocated 135 million euros to increase the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, promote innovation, protect biodiversity, foster a sustainable blue economy and ensure the well-being of coastal communities in Latvia and the Baltic region.
“Europe’s blue economy plays a crucial role in supporting coastal communities and in decarbonising our economy,” said Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius. “The Partnership Agreement will help Latvia to build resilient and sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors, as well as reinforce 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.”