In accordance with the functions defined in Article 16 of the Law on Regional Development, the Zemgale planning region ensures regional development planning, coordination, supervision, cooperation between municipalities and other state administrative institutions.
The main tasks of the Development Department of the Zemgale planning region for ensuring development planning:
- Determine the main basic principles, goals and priorities of the long-term development of the Zemgale planning region;
- Ensure the development, implementation and monitoring of Zemgale Planning Region’s development planning documents.
- Ensure the coordination of the development of the planning region in accordance with the main basic principles, goals and priorities defined in the development planning documents.
- Evaluate and provide opinions on the mutual coherence and compliance of regional and local level development planning documents with hierarchically higher development planning documents, as well as regulatory enactments regulating the system of development planning documents and the unified methodology for the development of planning documents of the Zemgale region.
- In cooperation with local municipalities and state institutions, develop planning documents for the development of the planning region; ensure their mutual coherence and compliance with Latvia's sustainable development strategy and the National Development Plan, as well as the implementation of these planning documents.
- Ensure the creation and implementation of the monitoring system of development planning documents of the planning region.
- Maintain a database of development planning documents.
- To ensure the organization of information events for local governments in the field of spatial planning and project development.
- Develop thematic research in the field of spatial planning.
- Create a network of cooperation between local government planning and development specialists in the region.
- Participate in the initiation, identification and further development of international and regional projects of Zemgale.
- To ensure the operation and development of the Zemgale geoportal, updating of information.
The economic profile of the Zemgale planning region determines four main directions of specialization
- A knowledge-intensive bioeconomy with an emphasis on the use of agricultural potential and the processing of its products.
- Management of natural resources (forests and minerals).
- Manufacturing as an urban specialization.
- Tourism and crafts as a brand of regional identity.
In addition, three horizontal areas of specialization: Education, science, innovation and ICT, Transport and logistics, Sustainable development.
Zemgale in 2030 – a competitive green region in the center of Latvia with a quality and accessible living environment.
Long-term development priorities of the Zemgale region:
- Zemgale – a region with a developed bioeconomy, agriculture, food industry and crafts that are based on local resources. Zemgale – model of "coexistence" of intensive agriculture and ecological management.
- The cities of national and regional importance of Zemgale are the industry and service centers of the region, which give the direction of development to the rural areas.
- The rural areas of Zemgale are populated, small businesses are developing there and the traditional living environment is preserved.
- Zemgale - a region of education, science and innovation with the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies as the intellectual potential for the development of Latvia and Zemgale, especially rural areas, and strong professional education institutions.
Priorities of the Zemgale Planning Region Development Program 2021-2027:
- Quality, accessible, versatile lifelong education - The priority is to ensure high-quality, modern educational opportunities and their equal access to the residents of the region throughout their lives.
- Social inclusion and health promotion - Promote the social inclusion of different groups in society in order to reduce social exclusion and poverty by creating accessible and quality services.
- Business growth and competitiveness - organize the business ecosystem and infrastructure, promote knowledge transfer, innovations in Zemgale’s economic, and environmental specialization sectors, increase the competitiveness of Zemgale entrepreneurs in global markets.
- Smart mobility and infrastructure - Ensure mobility of citizens for the accessibility of employment and services, the development of smart and energy-efficient mobility.
- Climate change, environment and circular economy - Rational use and management of energy resources to promote sustainable economic development and limit climate change.
- Modern and accessible service system - providing an attractive and comfortable living environment for families, work, business.
- Culture and identity - to ensure the diversity of cultural life, the preservation of traditional values, to create a development-oriented regional cultural environment.
- Civil society and active communities - Strengthening the sense of national identity and belonging, raising the level of participation and civic knowledge, promoting democratic participation. To promote the active involvement of all groups of society in public activities.
- Public safety - to carry out public safety improvements in the region and increase the quality and efficiency of the services provided, involving as few resources as possible.