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Support from the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms Deemed Valuable by the Majority of Latvian Population

19.07.2016

The results of the public opinion poll carried out in May and June this year on the awareness of the population on issues related to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms show that 71% of Latvian population - internet users - consider the support provided for the development of the country by the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms as very valuable or rather valuable. 

The results of the public opinion poll carried out in May and June this year on the awareness of the population on issues related to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms show that 71% of Latvian population - internet users - consider the support provided for the development of the country by the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms as very valuable or rather valuable.

As compared to 2013, when a similar public opinion poll was carried out, there have been no considerable changes in the overall public awareness level regarding the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms and it can be characterised as comparatively broad. 41% of Latvian population is ware of the fact that Latvia has the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms available.

Majority or 21% of those aware of the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms have heard of or know about the programme for conservation and revitalisation of cultural and natural heritage. The next most widely recognised programme is the Green Industry Innovation and the NGO Fund programme, marked, correspondingly, by 17% and 15% of respondents.

The results of the poll also show that the main sources of obtaining information regarding Financial Mechanisms are news portals and internet, which were specified by 33% of the respondents. A positive trend is that respondents are interested in receiving more extensive information regarding the topicalities of the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms - only 9% of respondents have marked that they are not willing to receive such information.

At the moment 7 programmes with almost 350 projects are being implemented in Latvia with the total financial mechanisms allocation of 67.1 million euros. Up to now the financing of 34.1 million euros or 56% of the total allocation granted to Latvia have been received from the Donor States (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) and invested in the development of Latvia.

The purpose of investments is to prevent social and economic disparities in the EEA countries, as well as to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary states.

The investment outcome is already seen in several significant areas. The NGO sector in Latvia is being strengthened, by developing proposals for setting up an efficient NGO aid system, which triggered the implementation of the national NGO Fund in 2016, allocating thereto 400, 000 euros; there are about 100 new ideas created in the Green Technology Incubator, number of cultural objects throughout Latvia have been restored and, in turn, within the scope of the Correctional Services Programme, electronic surveillance is implemented in Latvia and Police Detention Centers are renovated.

The public opinion poll was carried out in May and June of 2016. The poll sampling set is representative of the permanent residents of Latvia in the age range from 18 – 74 years, who are using internet. 1, 010 electronically completed survey forms were obtained as a result of the poll. The poll was carried out by SIA Gfk Custom Research Baltic, at the commission of the Ministry of Finance. 

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