RIGA - The European Union's multi-annual budget was reduced for the first time in the bloc's history, Latvia, however, managed to achieve favorable conditions in all important positions in the EU budget talks, according to Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis' (Unity) report on the government's performance and future plans, informs LETA.
Latvian institutions and officials achieved a much more beneficial budget, compared to the European Commission's initial proposal. Latvia, as an exception, will receive larger cohesion policy allocations. The country will also be offered a higher level of direct payments, states the report.
The report notes that Latvia's economy will have access to more than 7.4 billion euros (5.2 billion lats) from the bloc's budget in the next planning period. In 2014-2020, the country will have access to 4.8 billion euros in cohesion funds. Due to the bloc's funding, Latvia will be able to continue investing in various areas facilitating growth, transport infrastructure development, research, technology development and innovations, small and medium-sized company competitiveness, energy efficiency, environment, employment and education.
1.7 billion euros will be available for direct payments to farmers in the next planning period. As of 2014, Latvian farmers will receive 109 euros per hectare in direct payments. In 2019, direct payments to Latvian farmers will reach 196 euros per hectare, a 135 percent increase on the current planning period. 966 euros will be available for rural development needs.