ACQUISITION OF EU STRUCTURAL FUNDS IN IRELAND AND LATVIA
Since formation of European Union (EU) it has had great changes and developed both by expanding and creating close mutual cooperation among the involved countries. New member states have joined the ﬁrst six founder states, and now EU uniﬁes 27 states. Greater changes have affected the set objectives and activity spheres: from the war industry – coal and steel sector – over-national control institutions the aim of which is to ensure stable peace in Europe, nowadays EU has become a union that comprise more than twenty common policy and activity spheres. The integration process of Europe has been continued by setting new objectives, meeting new challenges and looking for better solutions.
EU budgetary funds provide support for wide scope of activities. This support regarding its scope may be changeable – starting from the whole covering of expanses and ﬁnishing with ﬁnancial support of only some percents. The range of potential recipients of ﬁnancial aid is also wide. Not only member states but also candidate states, separate municipalities, public organizations, private enterprises, universities and even separate individuals can be among them.
In many with structural funds related documents it is highlighted, that the aim of EU structural funds is to eliminate the regional and social inequalities among EU member states and to improve economical and social cohesion throughout all Europe. Certainly these funds is a great beneﬁt for EU peripheral countries like Ireland, Baltic states, and they can substantially promote development of these countries. Though one has to remember that a substantial ﬁnancing also creates a risk and that inadequate use of these funds can stimulate regional inequality, social outcast, environmental degradation and corruption.
Ireland is one of economically most developed, industrial, trade – oriented states, that until now has managed to use means of EU structural funds most successfully. The received ﬁnances from EU support funds have considerably favoured state’s economical growth.
During last ﬁve years Latvia as an EU member state had available remarkable means of European Union policies ﬁnancial instruments, which still in the hard times of national economy keep stimulating the growth and development of the state. Also in the period from 2009 till 2015 there is planned a substantial support of European Union budget for Latvia, which in the further years will proceed to come into state’s economy. The ability of Latvia to acquire and to forward these ﬁnances for development of the most important sectors in regions is a cornerstone of a successful development of the state.
Considering the experience of EU peripheral state – Ireland, Latvia has the opportunity to compare its situation and governmental decisions in state development area, in this way evaluating main core reasons of development and analyzing mistakes of a similar country. Development model of state of Ireland gives state of Latvia the opportunity to create to the utmost effective directions, core statements and plans of further development of state economy, which would facilitate sustainable increase of state’s development. If to compare Latvia’s experience in ﬁeld of economical growth development, it is obvious, that Latvia has performed more in an experimental way, not regarding experiences of other countries of similar situations, not relating political, social, economical and regional targets, considering also that they always changed radically when new political forces entered the leading political environment.