(Source: European Commission)
The European Commission has today disbursed €237 million to Latvia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s financial contribution as established in the Council Implementing Decision. The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Latvia’s recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms included in Latvia’s recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €1.8 billion in total, fully consisting of grants, over the lifetime of its plan.
Today’s disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first disbursement to Member States under the RRF and other NextGenerationEU.
Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The Latvian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, foster the green and digital transitions and strengthen the cohesion in our societies.
Supporting flagship investments and reform projects
The RRF in Latvia finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a transformative effect on Latvia’s economy and society. Here are some of those projects:
- Securing the green transition: The Latvian plan includes a €295 million investment project to overhaul the Riga Metropolitan area transport system by creating a multimodal public transport network with a single timetable, price and ticket system and investing in clean transport infrastructure, including railways, trams, electric buses and cycle lanes.
- Supporting the digital transition: €125 million will support businesses introducing digital technologies, such as e-commerce solutions, innovation and new products. Latvia’s plan will also devote €95 million on digital upskilling to improve basic and advanced digital skills.
- Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The plan includes €158 million on reforms and investments to modernise healthcare, strengthen the resilience of the health sector and increase the availability of integrated and high-quality healthcare services. It provides for investments in infrastructure and medical equipment in three university hospitals in Riga, seven regional hospitals and 40 ambulatory care institutions.
Members of the College said
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to see Latvia receive its first disbursement of €237 million under NextGenerationEU. It represents an important step in delivering the ambitious programme of investments and reforms set out in Latvia’s recovery and resilience plan. I am proud that NextGenerationEU will help Latvia achieve its green and digital transition with measures to support sustainable transport, digital training and improving the resilience of its health system. We will continue to stand with Latvia to ensure the plan is a success.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “Today’s first €237 million disbursement is a significant step on Latvia’s path to emerge stronger from the crisis. Since Latvia was quick to submit its recovery and resilience plan, it is now one of the first EU Member States to receive payments from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The successful implementation of Latvia’s plan with the total RRF funding of €1.8 billion – will help improve Latvians’ quality of life, make the economy more resilient and competitive and turn the country carbon-neutral and more digital. We will work closely with Latvia’s authorities and social partners to implement the reforms and investments identified in the plan. I wish Latvia every success in putting them into effect.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration said: “It is great news that the NextGenerationEU funds raised on the financial market continue to reach EU countries swiftly. This is a clear demonstration of the EU delivering on the ground. I am sure our support will soon become visible in the green and digital projects that Latvia is putting into place, to the benefits of its citizens and our common future.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “Today’s disbursement of €237 million is a first injection of much-needed funding into Latvia’s economy from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The successful implementation of Latvia’s recovery and resilience plan will unlock €1.8 billion in financing to support important reforms and investments in the country. These will make a real difference to the lives of citizens and the competitiveness of businesses: boosting digital skills, improving connectivity and public transport, modernising the public administration and strengthening higher education and healthcare.”
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