The Liepaja FLAG area is located in the south-western part of Latvia, bordering with Lithuania. The FLAG area stretches for 111.28 km along the Baltic coast and includes the municipalities of Ventspils, Saldus and Kuldiga districts. Five percent of the area is covered by waterways, which include the rivers Bārta and Durbe, and the Liepāja, Pape, Tosmare and Durbe lakes. Forestry accounts for a further 41% of the FLAG area.
There are 3651 businesses registered in the area, 90% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises with an annual turnover of less than €70 000. There are 92 premises offering touristic accommodations with the total capacity of 2 025 beds. The coastal municipalities and the city of Liepāja have 59 registered businesses operating in the fisheries sector. The unemployment rate in the FLAG area is 8% (2014), which is slightly below the national average in Latvia (10.8%).
The main economic sectors are: agriculture, the processing of agricultural products, logging, wood processing, transport, construction, the production of building products, fisheries and fish processing.
The main challenges for the area is attracting new entrants to the fisheries sector and promoting diversification.
The FLAG’s area also lacks comfortable and safe places for leisure and recreation along the Baltic coast. The existing infrastructure is outdated and inadequate for the numbers of tourists visiting the area. This prevents opportunities to promote the coastal areas and thus increase the socio-economic benefits for the FLAG area.
There are 14 Natura 2000 sites, 19 protected areas, three nature parks and one nature reserve in the FLAG area.
The FLAG strategy aims to:
EAFRD – €1 909 883.21 including national co-financing of 68%.
The FLAG organises calls for projects once a year.
The first call for projects related to the EMFF support closed on 2 June 2016.
The FLAG has experience in project evaluation, the facilitation of workshops and the involvement of members of the FLAG and other stakeholders in the evaluation of project results. It is also active in the organisation of Open Days workshops on CLLD.
The FLAG is interested in developing cooperation projects on the following topics:
No budget has been defined for cooperation.
The FLAG board (decision-making body) consists of 12 members, but all 72 members of the FLAG are actively involved.
The FLAG board consists of two representatives of the public sector (municipalities) and ten representatives of the private/NGO sectors.
The private sector is represented by four fishermen and two rural businesses.
There are four NGO representatives, including one representative of a youth association, one representative of women associations, and two representatives of environmental associations.