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Anticrisis measures

Liepaja

Detailed description of the Good Practice

Latvia and Liepāja are facing the crisis and the most explicit evidence to it is the unemploy ment rate which currently exceeds 17% in Liepāja. The unemployment brings about a number o negative aspects and tension in the community. Therefore, the local government has a crucial role in dealing with the situation. Each municipality must have an action plan how to warm up the local economy, create jobs and tackle social issues. Liepāja is working in four main directions.

Firstly, it focuses on the implementation of EU cofinanced urban development and infrastructure projects. These are substantial investments in the amount of ca. 200 million EUR over the next four years which will generate a lasting added value-a better city. And it is of utmost importance that these investments warm up the local economy presently creating jobs in the building industry, as well as indirectly stimulating many other industries - project designing, planning, transport, procurement, catering, finances and insurance.
Secondly-Liepāja's energy efficiency program. The insulation of public buildings (education, culture and sports) is a priority area in order to reduce heating costs. That will result in considerable savings in the city budget which can be diverted to development programs and dealing with social issues. Besides, these activities generate new job places. Liepāja has attracted finances for the modernization of heat supply system and production, allowing reducing of heat tariffs. The city works also on the development of an ambitious co-generation plant project. There is a special program in our city encouraging insulation of the multi-apartment dwelling houses with the support of the municipal and EU funds.

Thirdly - the business support program. The local government gets actively involved to help Liepāja entrepreneurs to find new markets for their products and to attract new foreign companies. Some of the latest projects include a business incubator established for creation and development of new businesses and business ideas and development of new territories suitable for manufacturing and other businesses. Projects of strategic importance for the development of the port and industries - the port dredging and construction of the port access road are being implemented.

And fourthly - the social area of activities is the support of people who had been hit most hard by the economic crisis, had lost their jobs and incomes. It includes the local policy of social assistance and social benefits, as well as training for the unemployed, teaching new skills and qualifications, tempo rary jobs forthe unemployed, scholarships for job learning, etc. This will allow people to live through the crisis, acquiring new skills and preparing them to be in a better position for job market when the economic situation improves. The crisis can be viewed as a springboard or a run-up period fora new quality and a new development. It gives experience and wisdom and also teaches how to work more productively and think in a long term perspective.

sustainable development
sustainable economy

Objectives of the Good Practice

elaborate an action plan how to warm up the local economy, create jobs and tackle social issues

Participants of the Good Practice

Local authorities

Target group of the Good Practice

entrepreneurs
citizens

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files

Contact details

Mr Vilnis Vitkovskis
Head of Development Department Liepāja City Council
E-mail: vilnis@dome.liepaja.lv

Data sources and references

Baltic Cities Bulletin 2/2009