RIGA --- Experts from the Education and Science Ministry and the Latvian Science Council reported that the country lacked the necessary state co-funding for EU funds to further these fields.
The group reported to the Parliament's European affairs committee, saying that an extra 4-5 million lats (6-7 million euros) is needed for the ministry to successfully implement all available EU structural funds.
Lauma Sika of the Education and Science Ministry's European integration and international assistance coordination department said that Latvia's science sector needs new specialists and the state could play a pivotal role in attracting the appropriate financial support from the EU. She added that the public should know that there is a need to raise the number of working scientists in the Baltic state.
According to the Baltic News Service agency, the European Union offers support for the development of science in the form of stipends for scientists and research grants – enough for 180 to 200 new doctoral degrees in four years time.
In order to fully implement the Lisbon strategy of making Europe the most competitive region in the world by 2010, an additional 700,000 scientists are needed, including 3,500 from Latvia, BNS reported.