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Nearly €12 million of EEA grant funding will be invested in Latvia’s regional development

Today, in May  22 an agreement enters into force between the Financial Mechanism Committee established by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia for the financing of the EEA grants programme “Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Cultural Cooperation” in Latvia.

“Support for Latvian people in the regions is vital. This will be particularly important at the moment when we recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.The total programme allocation is 11,8 millions euros, of which EEA grants contribution is 85% or 10 million euros and national co-financing is 15% or 1,8 million euros.It is envisaged, that at the second half of 2020 rules for the programme implementation will be approved and first open calls will be announced, but the implementation of the project activities will begin in the middle of 2021,” underlines Minister for Fianace Jānis Reirs.

By spring 2024, the programme will contribute towards the development of the business the environment in the regions, the introduction of good governance principles in the local municipalities, facilitation of multicultural dialogue and the cooperation between communities,  improvement of available infrastructure as well as the improvement of access to professional contemporary arts and culture in the regions of Latvia.

Five pre-defined projects implemented by the planning regions will carry out the activities to support entrepreneurship in the local and regional level. Through the project’s activities Latvian local governments’ capacity in business support and investment attraction will be increased, as well as youth involvement in the business development encouraged. Whereas, implementation of the small grant scheme projects will promote employment in the Latgale region by supporting entrepreneurs for the implementation of new ideas.

Within the framework of the programme area on good governance, two projects will be implemented. The Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments will implement activities in order to enhance and improve inter-municipal cooperation and quality and effectiveness of public services.  In the project implemented by the Ropazi local municipality sports and leisure infrastructure will be improved and activities for multi-cultural dialogue and cooperation enhancement between municipality communities will be organized.

The creation of products of professional contemporary arts and culture in the regions of Latvia will be enhanced through organising two open calls for proposals. 

The programme is implemented by the Ministry of the Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and the Arts Council Norway are donor programme partners and will contribute towards strengthening bilateral cooperation among Latvia and donor states.

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