Riga, 23 January 2020 - Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce (AP!) met today with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the developments on the implementation of the administrative reform, environmental challenges and fiscal economy.

This year, the IMF delegation took an in-depth interest in the direction of the Administrative Territorial Reform (ATR) and environmental issues. IMF representatives welcomed the scale of the municipal reform led by the Ministry and were interested in the impact of the reform on improving the efficiency of municipal governance, as well as the transparency of municipal finances. Minister Pūce presented the current direction of the reform, stating that it is taking place in line with the role of the Saeima and is one of the priorities of the government. . As one of the main prerequisites for strengthening local government governance and autonomy, the Minister mentioned a more uniform administrative division with comparable municipalities with more equal capacity to carry out their functions. I. The Minister also pointed out that combining municipalities will make it possible to optimise the functioning of municipal authorities for more efficient use of public funds, thereby creating more professional and efficient administrative structures. The Minister also informed about other topics related to municipal management issues, such as the Ministry's initiative to promote population participation and reforms, which will strengthen regional development and promote the creation of new jobs in Latvian regions.

Regarding environmental policy issues, the Minister informed the IMF about Latvia's plans to move towards climate neutrality and the Ministry's informative report “Latvia's strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050”, which is scheduled to be viewed in the Cabinet next week. Minister Pūce also highlighted the ministry's plan on measures essential for improving waste management, focusing in particular on the collection and recycling of waste types such as biodegradable waste, tyres and textile waste. The Minister also informed about the measures already taken to strengthen the capacity of the State Environmental Service.

The purpose of the visit to the IMF delegation is to assess Latvia's economic development and risks, assess the stability of the financial sector, fiscal policy and, on the basis of the information provided, develop recommendations. The IMF draws up an annual report on Latvia, which is also used by other international organisations, as well as the European Commission, the OECD, international credit rating agencies, etc.

Other information:
Public Relations Department
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Tel. 20200305; 67026533, e-mail: prese@varam.gov.lv