Latvian government approves its 'action plan'

Three and a half months after the start of its work, the government approved its future action plan on Tuesday, April 4. The voluminous document contains 800 points. Some of these remain unclear and are expected to be resolved within three weeks at the level of ministers, Latvian Television reported.

Some ministers of the United List proposed postponing the approval of the action plan for another week. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš disagreed with this.

“The process has been as slow as never before. We will not create a new policy with an action plan [..]. There are separate questions, we have four or five, where there is no agreement on which ministry will be responsible for the policy in question. We've all had a chance to get acquainted and read it. [..] If the minister has not been interested and read so far, they will not read it the following week either,” Kariņš said.

The government has not yet agreed on a commitment to implement smart border solutions, as well as an electronic queueing system with pre-registering. It will also have to be agreed on governance issues of state joint stock companies, as well as on integrating health literacy into the educational process.

The Cabinet said that the action plan includes concrete measures and achievable results in five priorities for the government's activities – security and foreign policy; education; energy, climate and environment; competitiveness and quality of life.

A total of 159 actions are planned in the area of security and foreign policy. Including, for example, the construction of the first standard National Guard base in Krustpils, the introduction of compulsory service, the implementation of State defense training in secondary education.

In the field of education, 86 actions will be implemented. One of the major reforms planned is the creation of an optimal network of educational institutions for demographic and development and a sequential transition to teaching in the official state language  (Latvian). It is also intended to promote the provision of competitive pay and balanced load for teachers, etc.

There are 85 actions in the field of energy, climate, and environment. The focus of the reforms is on energy self-sufficiency and renewable energy production.

Competitiveness includes the most – 324 measures. Including strategic directions for reforms in the areas of economic transformation, education, and welfare, to meet the needs of future labor market demand and structural changes in the economy towards higher added value.

In turn, priorities for quality of life include 216 actions. It is planned to implement reforms such as setting minimum income thresholds (including minimum pension) and calculation methodology in regulatory enactments, and annual revision of minimum income thresholds.  The government has committed to increasing public budget funding for health care, including reimbursable medicines, defining a basket of primary health services, and improving the funding model for primary health care.

To ensure the successful execution of the adopted government action plan, sectoral ministries and other institutions will have to provide the State Chancellery with a detailed overview of the tasks included in the Government Action Plan twice a year, by February 1 and August 1.

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