Prime Minister calls on the EU countries to prevent historical injustice
On Thursday 13 December, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis participated in the European Council in Brussels. The Prime Minister and the rest of the EU heads of state and government discussed the multi-annual financial framework for 2021 - 2027.
Addressing the participants of the European Council, M. Kučinskis pointed out that the multi-annual financial framework of the EU should be modern and forward-looking and help solve contemporary challenges, incl. security, defence and migration. Latvia welcomes the proposal of the European Commission (EC) to increase the funding to these policies, as well as to science, research and innovation. It was pointed out that Latvia has worked hard over the past few years to overcome the economic downturn and return to economic growth. At the same time, the price of the crisis was very high – over the last 15 years, the number of inhabitants has declined by about 15%, and even by 24% in the borderland regions. The majority of the inhabitants who have left are in the economically active age and right now work to promote economic growth of other EU countries.
“This depopulation challenge, which also reduces our growth potential in the future, can be reversed if we proceed at current pace of improving the living standard. We need the EU support and investments for that; however, the current European Commission’s proposed reduction of the cohesion policy is unacceptable for Latvia.”
M. Kučinskis also emphasized that for 15 years Latvian and all Baltic farmers have been fighting for fair competition in the single market. The amount of direct payments is based on outdated statistics, not on objective production costs.
“I encourage not using the agricultural performance indicators of the last century in the 21st century. There should be equal level of direct payments in the Member States with essentially the same production costs. In addition to the farmers’ income support, it is important to ensure active and modern fields. The younger generation should understand that they can provide themselves and their families with sufficient subsistence by working and living in the countryside. Already in this period of the EU multi-annual financial framework Latvia has received 9% less funding. Therefore, in the following period, when reducing the rural development funding, the cuts already made to rural development should be taken into account”.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister