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Sunday 22.01.2017 | Name days: Austris
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Changes may come to Latvia’s map

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU2021 is mentioned in the corridors of the Latvian government as the year when the map of Latvia and Latgale may change again. The government has taken to discussing the reform regarding new administrative territories.

According to information from Pi myusim Latgolā radio programme, the reform itself is currently only theoretical. Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry has changes planned.

The planned territorial changes are explained with the current uneven state and regional development – while some grow and develop, others are continuously abandoned by residents, their territories gradually become empty.

«Our goal is not to re-draw Latvia’s map. Our goal is to balance out the economic situation in Latvia in order to make people equal in Latgale, Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Zemgale and to make financial and economic differences as little as possible,» – explains Environmental Minister Kaspars Gerhards’ advisor Janis Eglitis.

As emphasized by Janis Eglitis, this reform must not be realized just to change borders. The reform should be realized only after research has been completed and conclusions reinforce the assumption that changes will benefit municipal and residents’ budgets.

In order to achieve equal development of Latvia’s regions, the ministry has developed two new regional reform concepts, one of which should be realized in 2021.

One of the models provides for uniting the 110 regions and 9 cities of the republic into 49 regions and 9 cities of the republic. Regions would have at least one perspective secondary school and the average distance between populated areas and regional centres would be approximately 30 km.

The second model provides the creation of 29 cooperation territories with national and regional development centres. Current discussions seem to favour this model of administrative territorial reform.

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