Latvia will receive €4.6 billion in Cohesion Policy funding between 2021-2027 to support economic and territorial cohesion, and social fairness. Latvia will invest the EU funds in the green and digital transitions, in boosting innovation in the economy, and in healthcare and social services.
The details and strategy for these investments are set out in the Partnership Agreement between Latvia and the Commission.
Green transition and mobility, innovation and research
€839 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.
€823 million will be directed to research and innovation, and to increase the digitalisation of small and medium-sized businesses.
Moreover, €1.2 billion will support integrated territorial development, sustainable multimodal urban mobility, such as trams, cycling paths and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Investments will also improve road safety and modernise railways.
Finally, €192 million 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.
Investments in social fairness
€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, today the Commission also approved Latvia's programme 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 of 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 a wellbeing in coastal communities.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Thanks to Cohesion Policy, Latvia has experienced increased prosperity, better infrastructure and improved access to services and quality of life. The measures jointly agreed 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.”
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added: “I welcome Latvia's initiative to use ESF+ funding to help equip workers with the skills needed for jobs in-demand. This Partnership Agreement will also bring improvements to social care, healthcare and education in Latvia. At the same time, the €32.5 million in funding to provide food and basic material assistance announced today will provide a lifeline to those in need.”
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, said: “Europe's blue economy plays a crucial role in supporting coastal communities and in decarbonising our economy. The Partnership Agreement will help Latvia to build a 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.”
Under Cohesion Policy, and in cooperation with the Commission, each Member State prepares a Partnership Agreement, a strategic document for programming investments from the Cohesion Policy funds – ERDF, ESF+ and the Cohesion Fund – the JTF and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The Partnership Agreements focus on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities identified by each Member State. Latvia has set out three national programmes and 10 cross-border programmes for the implementation of the investments on the ground, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each programme.
Moreover, the Partnership Agreement reflects Latvia's strong commitment to the coordinated use of the Cohesion Policy funds with the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The Partnership Agreement with Latvia is the 23rd to be adopted following those of Greece, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal, Estonia, Slovakia, Italy, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Malta and Ireland.
Source: European Commission