Foreign Minister: The proposed reduction in cohesion funding is unacceptable to Latvia

13.02.2020. 18:21

On 13 February 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met in Rīga with representatives from associations engaged in various business sectors in order to discuss funding planned for Latvia under European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework for the next period, in particular, funds to be allocated for the EU’s agricultural and cohesion policies.

During the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs gave an outline of the process of negotiations for the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the upcoming special meeting of the leaders of EU Member States on the EU budget scheduled for 20 February. The Minister recognised that the major differences between Member States in the negotiation process are related to the overall size, priorities and criteria of the multiannual budget.

Given that Latvia’s economy has been growing steadily, reaching 70% of the EU average in 2018, Cohesion Policy funding will objectively decrease, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted. However, Latvia finds it unacceptable that the reduction for us will be as large as for the group of countries with another development level, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.

In a discussion on the agricultural policy, Edgars Rinkēvičs drew the participants attention to the fact that Latvia is one of the two countries together with Croatia for which there is an increase in the agricultural envelope. The current proposal provides for a steady increase in the level of direct payments to reach 202 EUR/ha, or 77% of the EU average, in 2026. The current Common Agricultural Policy envelope for Latvia, which consists of direct payments and rural development funding, is the second best proposal among all Member States, since it envisages an increase against the current period, the Minister stressed. 

The discussion brought together representatives from the Association of Cities of Latvia, the Latvian Agricultural Organization Cooperation Council, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, the Latvian Federation of Security and Defence Industries, the Latvian Farmers Federation, the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, the Latvian Building Design and Construction Council, the Latvian Agricultural Cooperatives Association, the Latvian Association of Agricultural Companies, and the Latvian Farmers Parliament.

 


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