bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 26.01.2020 | Name days: Agneta, Agnis, Ansis
LatviaLatvia

Latvian government greenlights continuation of territorial reform

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

In spite of objections from many municipalities, Latvia’s government decided on Tuesday, 17 September, to support Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry to reduce the number of existing municipalities from 119 to 36 and allowed the ministry to continue efforts for the implementation of the territorial reform.

The ministry is entrusted with the task of developing and submitting to the government a legislative draft by 21 November on the new division of Latvia’s territories. According to Saeima’s decision, the legislative draft is to be submitted to the parliament for review by 1 December.

During discussions a number of representatives from municipalities criticized the ministry’s report. For example, representatives of Rūjiena municipality and businessmen criticized the decision to add Rūjiena to Valka, not Valmiera, with which Rūjiena has closer economic relations.

Iecava municipality’s representative criticized the idea of Iecava joining Bauska, which is not as economically developed as Iecava.

Latvian Association of Local Governments (LPS) representative Māris Pūķis said the ministry’s prepared solution is dissatisfying because it does not cover residents’ opinion about the reform. On top of that, topics important for the residents – schools, kindergartens, public transport residents – are ignored, adding there are no mechanisms to help resolve these matters.

Defece Minister Artis Pabriks stressed that if the government does not start the territorial reform now, it could be postponed for 20 years. The minister urged to start the reform without hesitation. Municipalities, on the other hand, are invited to present proposals to improve their work as part of the new reform.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš thanked Environment Minister Juris Pūce for the report, considering it was not a simple task.

Pūce thanked his partners who participated in the reform’s development process. He stressed that the development process of the administrative territorial reform was transparent – all opinions and arguments were heard.

The minister also reported that it is planned to develop a legislative draft for the administrative territorial reform within a month.

According to Pūce, approval of the conceptual report is an important affirmation that the ministry has performed the task given by government and the Saeima and has presented a territorial division model that allows municipalities to perform their functions ten years from now.

‘We have consulted with municipalities, society and social partners. We have taken into account argumeted proposals and data to form a territorial division model that reduces the existing inequality among municipalities. Additionally, municipalities will have the capacity to implement projects aimed at development.’ We are looking in a long-term perspective and the reform is Latvia’s opportunity,’ said the minister.

The ministry reminds that 59 of the 119 municipalities do not meet the requirements of the Law on Local Governments.

The ministry notes that in spite of population numbers, all municipalities have equal functions. However, many smaller municipalities are unable to perform all functions outlined in the law, which causes inequality to continue increasing. Administrative costs vary from 50 to 200 euros per capita. Only in 28 municipalities, costs account for less than 7% of their budget.

104 out of 119 municipalities receive grants from the municipal equalization fund and 57 of municipalities are able to provide jobs to more than 40% of their residents of working age, the ministry estimates.

It is planned that by implementing the reform this inequality will be reduced and residents’ access to residents will be improved, as will municipalities’ capacity to attract investments for infrastructure and business development.

The ministry stresses that the new administrative model was develop as a result of assessing population dynamics, mobility and service use habits, as well as after receiving data-based proposals after consulting with municipalities. Received proposals were taken into account in the development of a conceptual report, the ministry notes.

Between May and August Pūce met with experts and deputies of 114 municipalities. Approximately 50 meetings with local communities, residents, business organizations, other NGOs and social partners were held, the ministry explains.

At the same time, the ministry continues listening to society’s proposals. Meetings with residents will continue until May 2020.

Following the territorial reform, Daugavpils will become the second largest municipality population-wise after Riga. Līvāni will become the smallest.

Alūksne, Valka, Balva, Preiļi and Smiltene will become Latvia’s smallest municipalities after the reform. Each of them will have less than 20 000 residents.

Territory-wise the largest municipalities will include Liepāja, Madona and Jēkabpils, whereas the smallest will include Jūrmala, Salaspils and Mārupe.

The reform will not affect seven municipalities – Rīga, Jūrmala, Alūksne, Gulbene, Līvāni, Olaine and Salaspils.


Leave a reply

  1. Justs says:

    Soon 2 regions: Riga, Not Riga.

Development of areas along Rail Baltica line will require investments worth EUR 300 million

In order to implement infrastructure development projects along Rail Baltica line in Riga, it will be necessary to secure investments up to EUR 350 million in the next ten-year period, as reported by Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs.

Olainfarm shareholders fail to convene due to lack of quorum

Because of the lack of quorum, the extraordinary meeting of Olainfarm shareholders originally scheduled for Friday, 24 January, did not take place. It was planned to discuss changes to the company council during this meeting, as reported by the company’s representative Ieva Lapiņa-Ennīte.

EY: investors more optimistic about Latvia’s economic competitiveness

Last year, investors’ opinion of the competitiveness of Latvia’s economy improved for nearly all indexes, as reported by EY Latvija representatives.

Bulgaria accuses three Russian citizens for poisoning of arms producer

Three Russian citizens have been charged by Bulgaria over the attempted murder of an arms producer and another two Bulgarians using a poison. One survivor believes there is a link with the poisoning of the Skripals in the United Kingdom.

Ignoring sanctions, Ventspils City Council approves budget created under Lembergs’ watchful eye

In spite of sanctions imposed by USA, Ventspils City Council approved the city’s budget for 2020, which came to be under absolute influence from Aivars Lembergs, on Thursday, 23 January, BNN was told by opposition deputy Aivis Landmanis.

Estonia eyes one-year prison sentence for first-time drunk drivers

Estonian government ministers have proposed harsher sanctions for drunk driving. Their initiative comes after three people got killed in a crash, where a heavily intoxicated driver was involved.

Latvian residents trust National Armed Forces the most and the Saeima the least

Latvia’s residents trust the country’s National Armed Forces and the president the most and the Saeima the least, according to the survey performed by Latvian National Security Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre.

In China, coronavirus claims more lives as transport limitations put in place

The Chinese outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus has reached the death toll of 26 people, meanwhile, authorities are trying to keep it from spreading introducing transport movement limitations in at least 10 cities.

Information about VDD new office building’s construction costs is a state secret

Although some media have mentioned different amounts of money the construction of a new office for the State Security Service at the location of former Marss cycling track may cost, the service reports that this information is considered a state secret.

Kariņš: Latvia is no longer the younger brother – our country’s voice is heard

Latvia is no longer the younger brother on the international arena – our country is heard and its opinion is taken seriously, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at annual foreign policy debates on Thursday, 23 January.

Poland passes law on limiting public actions, statements of judges

The Polish Sejm has passed a draft law that sets forth limiting the say of judges over justice appointments, court reform and politics. The limitations have been widely criticised abroad.

Linkaits: banks once again service Ventspils Freeport terminals

The situation with Ventspils Freeport is gradually becoming more relaxed. On top of that, banks once again service port terminals there, as Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits affirmed in a conversation with journalists on Thursday, 23 January.

Aivars Lembergs picks ex-prime minister’s freelance advisor Grudulis as his lawyer for debates

The suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, who is also accused of committing serious crimes and is under US sanctions, has picked once the prime minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis’ freelance advisor Māris Grudulis as his lawyer for debates in court, as was announced in court on Thursday, 23 January.

What is Lithuanian President’s main reason to skip Jerusalem Holocaust forum?

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has unexpectedly flip-flopped on where and how to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. First, he said he will attend the commemoration in Jerusalem, but then changed his mind to pay homage to the Jewish victims in Auschwitz, in Poland. The reason? Well, there is no clear official reason for that – President’s Office did not provide one.

Audit: Rail Baltica slowed by poor risk management and slow progress with municipalities

Delays and cost increase of Rail Baltica project is heavily affected by no risk management and no strategy, as well as slow progress in cooperation with municipalities and passive alienation of properties, Latvian State Audit concluded in its latest report.

China stops public transport in two cities over coronavirus

In China, a new strain of coronavirus has claimed the lives of 17 people. To keep it form spreading, local authorities have stopped the public transport to and from the cities of Wuhan and Huanggang.

BNN investigation | Rebenoks and Krieķis may have plans to return to Olainfarm board despite ties to serious crimes

Ex-Olainfarm officials Mārtiņš Krieķis and Pāvels Rebenoks, the latter also serving as Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor, may return to the company’s board to, possibly, continue walking «well-travelled path» paved with non-transparent deals, according to information available to BNN.

In Estonia, forgetting to register child’s name can lead to municipality choosing it

Estonian law obliges parents to register the name of their child in a month’s time after giving birth. In the unlikely case of them being late, the law opens right to a local municipality to choose it.

Change of concept? Viesturs Kairišs becomes Dailes Theatre’s artistic director

Dailes Theatre’s board member Juris Žagars has picked Viesturs Kairišs as the theatre’s new artistic director, as journalists were told by Žagars on Thursday, 23 January.

Lukashenko: Belarus needs to diversify its oil imports, introducing Baltic supplies

As Minsk and Moscow are in talks to solve a dispute over the continuation of oil imports from Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Russian supplies could be cut to 30-40% of Belarus’ total imports.

Minister does not exclude possibility of number of municipalities in Latvia increasing

The Administrative Territorial Reform offers reducing the number of municipalities to 39 in Latvia. Still, it is possible there may be one or two more, said Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Thursday, 23 January.

Thirteen people die from influenza in Latvia

Three people died from influenza in Latvia last week, increasing the number of victims to 13 for this year’s flu season, according to monitoring data of acute upper respiratory tract infections published by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Lithuania tries to halt haulage firm exodus to Poland with new tax

Lithuania is introducing a new «exit tax» to keep road haulage firms from relocating to other European Union member states. The firms say that other ways of moving business abroad will be used.

Corruption fighters: corruption perception indexes decline in Latvia in 2019

Latvia’s positions had worsened slightly in 2019 in global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index.

UK parliament passes draft Brexit law

In London, the draft law on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been finally passed by the Houses of Parliament after years of inability of British legislators to decide on their preferred way out of the bloc.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!