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Academic staff and researchers from the Faculty of European Studies at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) are taking part in the National Research Program (NRP) project Economic, Political and Legal Framework for Preserving Latvia’s Economic Potential and Promoting Competitiveness after the Pandemic Crisis (reCOVery-LV), which is supported by the Latvian Council of Science. The University of Latvia is the project’s leading partner.

Under the leadership of Professor Andris Sprūds, the Dean of the Faculty of European Studies, researchers from RSU will assess international political risks to trade, investment and labour flow and model future development scenarios on a global scale, taking into account the solutions implemented in different countries and regions of the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘How successful Latvia’s economic recovery will be, will largely be determined by the decisions the European Union, the United States, even China and Russia will take to overcoming the crisis. Latvia’s next steps towards economic recovery cannot be seen in isolation from developments elsewhere in the world,’ emphasises Prof. Sprūds.

The NRP project is implemented by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Latvia, RSU, the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies and Riga Technical University.

The aim of the project is to assess the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Latvian economy comprehensively from a multi-sectoral perspective and also to prepare scientifically sound, innovative and interdisciplinary policy recommendations to address the challenges posed by the pandemic in relation to the sustainable and inclusive development of the Latvian economy.

At the end of the project, an objective assessment of the current policy to reduce the damage caused by the pandemic will be published. Future scenarios of Latvia’s economic development will also be developed taking into account the dynamics of social, fiscal and regional factors, as well as international policy trends. The implementers of the project will provide the government with scientifically sound and applicable policy recommendations. 

It has already been reported that the overarching goal of the national research programme announced by the Latvian Council of Science (LCS) is to limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the population and to urgently resume economic activity and social life by implementing high-readiness scientific projects. Research is carried out in three thematic areas: health care and public health, engineering solutions, as well as the national economy and public welfare. A total of 10 projects are expected to be implemented by 31 December 2020, which, as reported by the Latvian Council of Science, have been highly appreciated by international scientific experts (the average consolidated expertise review is 12.98 out of 15 possible points). A total of almost 5m euros has been allocated from the national budget for the mobilisation of science to fight the virus.