RIGA - The European Union's Economic and Financial Affairs Council on Tuesday approved Latvia's plan for the absorption of EUR 1.82 billion from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), LETA was told at the Finance Ministry.
An agreement on the release of the RRF funding is expected to be signed in August. The health sector, which has already started preparing projects, will be the first to receive RRF money.
"The European Commission recognized that Latvia's plan covers a broad set of mutually amplifying reforms and investments, which will help effectively resolve many economic and social problems, which the European Council mentioned in its recommendations to Latvia for the 2019 and 2020 European Semester. The plan provides for tackling challenges in areas like healthcare, education and skills, social inclusion, research and innovation, affordable housing, public administration and business environment, as well as the fight against shadow economy and money-laundering," the Finance Ministry said.
The measures planned by Latvia as part of its recovery plan are expected to promote the green and digital transition through structural reform and by dealing with social and human capital issues. The plan puts the emphasis on the development of skills, for instance, in the context of higher education reforms, promoting private investment in R&D and digital skills, which are essential for future economic development.
Latvia plans to spend EUR 96 million on developing digital skills to ensure that at least 54 percent of the population, aged 16 to 74, acquire at least basic skills in this sphere.
Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity) noted that Latvia has been granted access to RRF funds sooner because Latvia is the first Baltic country and among the first 12 EU member states whose recovery plans have been approved by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.
The finance minister urged line ministries to speed up work on the 24 reforms and 61 investment measures included in the national recovery plan so that Latvia could move ahead with the plan's implementation faster.
The Finance Ministry will inform about Latvia's recovery plan in a news conference, scheduled for this Wednesday, July 14.