Operational Programme 'Latvia - Lithuania'

Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 17 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Latvia and Lithuania for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Latvian and Lithuanian regions that lie along their common border: the Latvian regions of Kurzemi, Latgali and Zemgali and Lithuanian regions Klaipėdos, Šiaulių, Telšių, Panevėžio and Utenos. The Kauno region of Lithuania may take part in projects as an adjacent area, i.e. receiving a maximum 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme.

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €75.6 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €63.9 million, which represents approximately 0.7% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overall objective of the Programme is to contribute to the sustainable and cohesive socio-economic development of the border region. This involves making it a competitive place for economic and business development and an attractive place for people to live in and visit.

The cooperation area covers Southern Latvia and Northern Lithuania, extending from the Baltic Sea in the west to the EU external border with Russia and Belarus in the east. The area has over three million inhabitants and is characterised by a depopulation trend and a relatively low-density population. The area is predominantly agricultural, but also includes forests as well as a significant stretch of the Baltic Sea coastline. The region is located on major transport routes (Via Baltica and Via Hansaetica), including several ice-free ports, and thus serves as a key corridor connecting north-south and east-west traffic.

Another feature of the area is the growing gap between urban and rural settlements in terms of living conditions and competitiveness. Investment is therefore needed for improving local infrastructure, living conditions, access to public services and management of environmental resources for local communities on both sides of the border. Tourism is also seen as offering major potential for development of the area.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme is expected to improve business-related infrastructure, research and technology development (R&TD), human resources and education, joint public services, and environmental management, in addition to preserving and promoting European cultural–historical heritage and encouraging joint tourism development, cooperation between municipalities, people-to-people activities, youth work, and joint cultural events.

Indicators will be used to measure the impacts on new jobs, higher rates of employment, the creation of new business support infrastructures and new start-ups, higher levels of research and innovation, new tourist attractions, increased flows of tourists, better access to public services and joint initiatives by municipalities.

3. Priorities

The Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Encouragement of Socio-economic Development and Competitiveness of the Region [approximately 38.9% of total funding]

The aim of this priority is to facilitate developments in business, the labour market and research and technology, and to improve internal and external accessibility of the border regions.

Priority 2: Attractive Living Environment and Development of Sustainable Communities [approximately 54.6% of total funding]

This priority aims to enhance joint management of public services and natural resources, increase the attractiveness of the border regions, and develop active and sustainable communities.

Priority 3: Technical Assistance [approximately 6.5% of total funding]

Under this priority, the aim is to provide support for effective implementation of the Operational Programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Latvia - Lithuania'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Encouragement of Socio-economic Development and Competitiveness of the Region 24 958 759 4 258 487 29 363 246
Attractive Living Environment and Development of Sustainable Communities 35 123 707 5 936 301 41 322 008
Technical Assistance 3 835 051 1 081 429 4 916 480
Total 63 917 517 11 276 217 75 601 734