EU funds and other financial support

Latvia as the Member State of the European Union (EU) implementing the EU regional policy uses financial assistance provided by the EU for economic and social development.

EU provides financial support for various projects and programs. Funding is managed by applying strict rules to control the use of funds and ensure that the money is spent transparently and responsibly. There are different types of EU funding:

  • Grants are usually awarded according to the tender procedure. Typically, people apply for grants by submitting ideas for projects following a ‘call for proposals’ – a public announcement or an open call to send in proposals. Part of the funding is provided by the EU; part comes from other sources.

  • Subsidies are managed by national or regional authorities.

  • Loans, guarantees and equity as forms of financial assistance to support EU policies and programs.

  • Prizes for winners of “Horizon 2020” contests.

Management of EU funding

Direct management

EU funding is managed directly by the European Commission. This type of funding is given as grants for specific projects that are related to the EU policy.  Such funding can be applied for through a call for proposals.

Shared management

The European Commission and national authorities jointly manage the funding. Around 80% of the EU budget is managed this way. This is mainly done through five funds under the umbrella of the European Structural and Investment Fund.

Largest financial instruments within the framework of which Latvia receives financial assistance are the EU funds: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and Cohesion Fund (CF), the management of which in Latvia is ensured by the Ministry of Finance.

More information on the implemented projects and beneficiaries that received EU funds (ERDF, ESF, CF) during the 2014-2020 planning period can be found here - in the "Kohesio" database.

EU funds can provide between 50 and 85% of the total project financing, depending on the region's eligibility for the categories of developed, transition or less developed regions. The rest of the funding can be provided by public (national or regional) or private sources. The main objective of the funds' financing is to improve the competitiveness of European regions and cities, stimulate growth, development and creating new jobs.

In addition, Latvia receives funding under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. However, the assistance to agriculture and fisheries sectors is coordinated and administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Support Service of Latvia.

Indirect management

The funding is managed by national and regional authorities, not the EU. Such funding is defined as subsidies, for which people can apply at a national level.

All EU citizens, as well as people in many other parts of the world, benefit directly or indirectly from the EU budget. It helps millions of students, thousands of researchers and many cities, regions, and non-profit organizations.

All EU citizens can apply for EU funds. The EU offers several funding programs that you can apply for if your company or project meets the specific criteria. Funding opportunities are also provided by programs directly implemented by Member States, such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Just Transition Fund.

Always read the open-call guidelines and make sure that you are eligible, prior to applying for funding.

Each funding program and open call has its own specific criteria. In the case of grants – if your proposal is eligible and acceptable - the selection procedure usually begins with independent experts evaluating the proposal, based on the given selection and award criteria.

Beneficiaries of funding

Below you can find profiles of the most common beneficiaries of funding.

Young people

The EU budget has funding allocated for special programs aimed at helping young people gain professional experience or study abroad. Additionally, there are programs dedicated to reducing youth unemployment.

In general, these programs are designed for:

  • young people aged from 13 to 31;

  • youth organizations;

  • other stakeholders working with young people.

More specific criteria is applied, depending on the type of funding.

Funding opportunities for young people

Researchers, research fellows & scientists

Innovations, research, and development play a crucial role in the EU long-term growth strategy, thus specially tailored programs and other support resources have been made available for researchers across Europe.

The main EU research funding program is Horizon Europe - the successor to the Horizon 2020 framework program. This program supports the research projects that are carried out by organizations or individuals in various fields and topics.

Funding programs and open calls

Farmers & rural businesses

As a farmer or land manager, you may be eligible for direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

In order to be eligible for this funding, you must meet certain requirements in society, animal and plant health, the environment and animal welfare areas. These funds are sent to the beneficiaries through the responsible state institutions.

Funding opportunities for farmers

Small & medium-sized businesses

EU funding is available to all businesses, regardless of their size and field: freelancers, startups, micro-enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises.

Every year, the EU supports more than 200,000 companies. If you run a company or a business-related organization (business associations, business support and consulting service providers, etc.) that implements projects that support EU interests, or contribute to implementing EU programs or policies, you can apply for a grant or participate in a procurement procedure.

Companies wishing to enter large industrial procurement contracts may be interested in the calls for proposals under the ITER, Copernicus and Galileo programs.

Several other types of financial support are available to companies: business loans, microcredits, guarantees and venture capital. EU programs specifically support micro-enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Below are definitions for each business type.

  • Less than 10 employees;

  • The annual turnover or annual balance sheet total does not exceed 2 million euros.

Small businesses:
  • Less than 50 employees;

  • The annual turnover or annual balance sheet total does not exceed 10 million euros.

Medium-sized businesses:
  • Fewer than 250 employees;

  • The annual turnover does not exceed 50 million euros, or the annual balance sheet does not exceed 43 million euros.

Note: These figures refer to individual companies only. A small business may not qualify for SME status if it is part of a larger group and has significant additional resources available.

For more information regarding SME support criteria, please visit:

Public sector structures – cities and regions

Public sector structures have many different opportunities to receive EU funding on a local, regional, or national level, including investments to improve efficiency, institutional capabilities, as well as implementing local infrastructure projects.

Funding opportunities for public bodies

Non-governmental organizations (NGO)

NGO’s and civil society non-profit organizations are eligible to receive EU funding, if their activities are relevant to specific EU policy directions.

Funding opportunities for non-governmental organizations