Memorandums of understanding signed on the implementation of the EEA/Norway Grants – to Latvia allocated 102.1 million euro
On Thursday, December 14, the Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola and the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jens Frølich Holte signed the Memorandums of understanding on the Implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norwegian Financial Mechanism in 2014 - 2021. The memorandums provide to Latvia support in amount of 102.1 million euro, which, for both mechanisms in total, is by 29.15 million euros or 40 per cent more than in the previous period.
The Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola points out: "By signing the memorandum, we have started a new, inspiring stage, in which to continue the successful collaboration of the countries of the European Economic Area and Latvia. We can be proud of what we have achieved during the previous financial period, but in this period we plan even stronger support to those sectors, where we see the opportunity to make significant change in the lives of people."
In the new financial mechanisms period of Latvia, it is planned to support capacity building of the system of internal affairs, Latvian regional development and poverty reduction, environmental and climate change management, entrepreneurship and cooperation in the field of culture, as well as the capacity building of the correctional services. The new EEA and the Norway Grants period will provide for the allocation also to the NGO support, as well as strengthening bilateral cooperation and promoting decent work.
In Latvia, during the new period, the support will be granted within the scope of the following programmes:
- Research and Education (14.5 million euro);
- Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Cultural Cooperation (10 million euro);
- International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime (15 million euro);
- Civil Society (8.5 million euro);
- Business Development, Innovation and SMEs (12.5 million euro);
- Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption Thereto and Environment (14 million euro);
- Correctional Services (13 million euro);
- Bilateral Cooperation Fund (2.442 million euro);
- Social Dialogue – Decent Work (0.5 million euro).
After the signing of the memorandums of understanding, the responsible ministries, in cooperation with the sectoral partners and the Donor State programme partners, during the period of 6 months must develop the programme conceptions - content documents, on the basis whereof the Donor States within the period of the next 6 months will develop the relevant programme agreement to be bilaterally signed between the representatives of Latvia and the Donor States, marking the formal launch of the programme implementation stage.
For signing the Memorandums of understanding as a venue was selected Rainis and Aspazija House-Museum. It is a unique 19th century historical building monument in the centre of Riga. The two-storey house on the side of the street, the outbuilding, as well as a small backyard all together form a singular culturally historical ensemble. This is one of the unique cultural objects restored with the financial support from the EEA Grants and re-opened last year. 90 years later, the wish of Rainis and Aspazija regarding availability of the library and memorial premises to public has come true.
Not only Rainis and Aspazija House-Museum in Riga, but also Rainis Museum "Tadenava" and Rainis and Aspazija Summer House in Jūrmala were restored within the scope of the project. The EEA Grants contribution in the project comprised 2 177 989 euros, but the State budget co-financing - 384 351 euros.
The EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms allocation ensured by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway represents an additional foreign financing for the national state budget, aimed at reducing economic and social disparities in the beneficiary states, as well as strengthening bilateral relations with the Donor States.