RIGA - Saeima today approved Latvia's National Development Plan for 2021-2027 (NDP2027), which envisages the strategic objectives, priorities and measures for sustainable and balanced development of Latvia for the next seven-year planning period.
The plan was adopted by 77 votes to two and two abstentions. Eleven MPs did not register for the vote.
Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis (Harmony), the rapporteur for the draft resolution, introduced NDP2027 to the parliament, saying that the national development plan (NAP) is never complete but that its adoption by Saeima can be regarded as a "starting shot". Although the document is a long-term plan, it also contains short-term solutions for the mitigation of the Covid-19 crisis.
Debating the draft resolution, Daniels Pavluts (For Development/For) noted that although Latvia has made significant progress since the adoption of the previous NAP, it still lags behind its neighbor countries in a number of areas, including healthcare and the eradication of poverty. The MP indicated that NAP2027 provides for significant support to healthcare, digital and green development, media literacy and culture.
Several lawmakers, including Andris Kazinovskis and Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) criticized NAP2027 for paying too little attention to reducing inequality between Riga and Latvia's regions.
Taking into account that NDP2027 was submitted to the Saeima before the pandemic began in Latvia, lawmakers also adopted a decision with tasks for the Cabinet of Ministers in healthcare, public safety, social protection and equal opportunity, and to promote economic recovery in areas accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis.
NAP2027 contains four strategic goals - equal opportunity, productivity and income, social trust and regional development. The plan aims to change people's behavior patterns and habits and provide a path to development. "The habits of society have to change in terms of people's attitude to the environment, education and other people. NAP2027 includes steps that will promote this change," the Cross-Sectoral Coordination Center reported earlier.
The equal opportunity goal is defined as important for social justice and a factor in reducing income inequality and decreasing other barriers to development.
The productivity and income goal is the the main precondition for competitiveness and growth (in human resources, investment, governance processes, innovation).
Social trust is a critical social resource and development dimension that facilitates cooperation in the community, according to NAP2027.
Regional development is the basis for the long-term balanced growth of the country that reduces socio-economic disparities between the regions, creates preconditions for new jobs and promotes the uniqueness of each region.
The NDP2027 is the main medium-term national development planning document and, once approved by the Saeima, is to be implemented by all ministries when planning their sectoral policies and institutional strategies. Citizens can contribute to achieving the goals through personal initiative.
As Latvia’s main medium-term national development planning document, NDP2027 is the roadmap for achieving Latvia’s Sustainable Development Strategy to 2030 (Latvia2030) and defines the major investments toward national development for the next seven years.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the NDP2027 on February 25, 2020.