On Tuesday, July 13, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) approved the Latvian Recovery Plan, with investments of EUR 1.82 billion. The funding agreement is scheduled to be concluded in August, and the health sector, which has already started to prepare projects, will receive the first aid.
Minister for Finance Jānis Reirs: “We have provided Latvia with faster access to financial resources, - Latvia is the first of the Baltic States and among the first 12 European countries, whose plans have been approved by the European Council! In order for Latvia to move forward, I call on the ministries to work actively on the implementation of the 24 plan reforms and 61 investment measures and, as soon as possible, to draw up, harmonise and submit the necessary legislative acts to the Cabinet working together with sectoral non-governmental organisations and social partners.”
The European Commission (EC) acknowledged that Latvia's plan covers a broad, mutually reinforcing set of reforms and investments that will help to solve effectively many economical and social challenges identified by the European Council in the recommendations addressed to Latvia in the 2019 and 2020 European Semester. The plan aims to address challenges in areas such as healthcare, education and skills, social inclusion, research and innovation, affordable housing, public administration, the business environment, the fight against the shadow economy and money laundering.
The measures contained in the Recovery Fund plan will contribute to the green and digital transition of the economy by introducing structural reforms and addressing social and human capital development. The plan focuses on skills development, such as higher education reforms, the promotion of private investment in research and development and digital skills that are important for future economic development. Latvia has estimated EUR 95 million for the development of digital skills so that by 2026 54% of the population aged 16 to 74 have acquired at least basic skills in this area.
Recovery and Resilience Facility is a new budget programme under the centralised management of the EC, established in addition to the European Union multiannual budget for the programming period of 2021 - 2027. It’s purpose – to support reforms and investments related to the transition to a green and digital economy, as well as to reduce the social and economic impact caused by the crisis.