EU funds help reducing regional disparities

In over 64% of the cases, EU funding has served to improve life in the regions of Latvia, Rinalds Muciņš, the head of the State Regional Development Agency (VRAA) told Latvian Radio Thursday.

According to him, in the last few years 449 projects for a total sum of €0.5bn were carried out, and the bulk of these funds went to the eastern region of Latgale where the conditions were most dire. Investments help reducing the disparity between regions. 

There are four priorities for investments, and one priority is infrastructure development - repairing the streets and roads, changing the lightning, building and repairing kindergartens and cultural objects. Besides, European funds are spent on providing access to the internet. 

"It cannot be said that this program has stopped the population leakage. But some people have without a doubt believed that [the situation] can become better. What's more, this work creates an impulse for further development in the form of new businesses, developing roads, and so on," said Muciņš.

At the same time, Muciņš admitted that creating jobs poses one of the main problems. In the next budget period of the EU it's this problem that will be prioritized.

Municipalities will be provided with funding for road development and industrial territories, including the construction of the necessary infrastructure for making the regions more attractive to entrepreneurs, said Muciņš.

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