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Public Funding and Ensuring Public Project Efficiency: Micro-Economical Perspective of the EU Funds Management Frame in the Republic of Latvia

FEATURED PAPER

Emīls Pūlmanis

PhD.cand., MSc.proj.mgmt.

State Regional Development Agency (Latvia)

Deputy Director of Project implementation and monitoring department

Riga, Latvia
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Introduction

In the 2014–2020 programming period Latvia will have access to investments from five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) structural policy financing instruments: European regional Development Fund (ERDF) – to use investments in research and innovation, information and communication technologies in order to support development and structural adjustment of economies for purposes of increasing competitiveness of SMEs, Cohesion fund (CF) – in order to promote integration in common market of the EU and to promote application of environmental standards and construction of main transportation infrastructure, European Social Fund (ESF) – for improvement of employment possibilities, strengthening of social integration, decreasing poverty, promoting education opportunities and lifelong learning and developing active, comprehensive and sustainable social integration, EAFRD – to promote agricultural competitiveness, to ensure sustainable management of natural resources and actions in the area of climate policy, as well to achieve a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities, inter alia by creating and maintaining employment that is competitive, economically viable and sustainable from the social and environmental point of view, as well as facilitating balanced and inclusive territorial development of fishery regions.

Purpose of investments from ESI funds is to strengthen competitiveness of Latvia and to ensure economical, territorial and social cohesion with smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and balanced territorial development based on balanced macroeconomic and fiscal policy. In general the investment strategy of ESI funds is developed so as to ensure concentration of resources and critical mass of investments in order to achieve desired changes in Latvia considering defined needs, which would provide direct contribution to the achievement of objectives of „Europe 2020” strategy and implementation of recommendations of the EU Council (Partnership Agreement for the European Union Investment Funds Programming Period 2014 – 2020, Ministry of Finance, 2014). The ESI investment strategy is based on development areas and challenges set in the Latvian national strategic development plans.

Challenges for the Public Sector

Having grown progressively following the Second World War, the public sector, throughout the world, began, during the early 1970’s, to experience significant pressures for change. A primary focus was ‘reducing expenditures while at the same time improving government operations’ (De Montricher, 1998). According to the OECD (OECD, 1995 p.7), catalysts for change have included:

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About the Author                                                        

140507 - Pulmanis - PHOTOEmils Pulmanisflag-latvia-riga

Riga, Latvia

Emils Pulmanis is a member of the board of the Professional Association of Project Managers in Latvia and Deputy Director of the Project Implementation and Control Department at the State Regional Development Agency of Latvia. He has gained a BSc. in engineer economics, a professional master’s degree in project management (MSc.proj.mgmt) and currently is a PhD candidate with a specialization in project management. He has elaborated and directed a number of domestic and foreign financial instruments co-financed projects. He was a National coordinator for a European Commission-funded program – the European Union’s financial instruments PHARE program in Latvia. Over the past seven years he has worked in the public administration project control and monitoring field. He was a financial instrument expert for the Ministry of Welfare and the European Economic Area and Norwegian Financial Mechanism implementation authority as well as an expert for the Swiss – Latvian cooperation program as a NGO grant scheme project evaluation expert.

Emils has gained international and professional project management experience in Germany, the United States and Taiwan. In addition to his professional work, he is also a lecturer at the University of Latvia for the professional master study program in Project management. He has authored more than 25 scientific publications and is actively involved in social activities as a member of various NGO’s. Since November 2014 Emils is also an International Correspondent for the PM World Journal in Latvia. Emils can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Emils Pulmanis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/emils-pulmanis/.