Achievements in Latvia 2004-2009
Within Schengen and judiciary, support was provided to a number of projects linked to improving the prison system, including re-socialisation programmes for inmates, improvement of building standards, and improved registration and information sharing on prisoners. It was foreseen that 1 100 juvenile inmates would benefit directly. Funding also helped to facilitate the implementation of the Schengen Agreement which abolishes internal borders between a large number of European countries, and which Latvia joined in 2007. Environmental protection and sustainable development funding helped to improve management of inland-water fish resources, and to protect ecosystems and biodiversity.
Funding also supported projects to set up electronic-waste sorting and recycling facilities, promote renewable energy use and improve environmental monitoring and control standards. CO2 emissions were set to be reduced by 10 000 tonnes per year through five projects. Half of the funding to regional and cross-border development was channelled through two funds. One promoted development in peripheral areas involving cooperation across the border with Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia. The other promoted private-public partnership in infrastructure development.
A number of human resource development projects also focused on regional development through networking, training and new practices, during which 500 public servants were trained. Two funds were set up to support scholarships in the form of mobility grants for Latvian students, teachers and education management staff, and grants to research projects.
Notable among the cultural heritage projects was a comprehensive overhaul of the Kuldiga District museum, including the creation of a restoration centre for wooden architecture. The project was implemented in close cooperation with Norwegian Crafts Development at Maihaugen and Frogn Municipality in Norway, which faces similar challenges in keeping old craft traditions alive and preserving wooden architecture. Around one-third of all projects in Latvia involved partnerships between Latvian and donor-state entities, mainly in the fields of Schengen and the judiciary, and health and childcare.