Zemgale Planning Region is an institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in the status of a derived public entity. It combines six municipalities, which after the regional reform "cover" 20 former counties and two bigger cities - Jelgava and Jēkabpilis. Currently, the Planning region includes the Jelgava city municipality, as well as the districts of Aizkraukle, Bauska, Dobele, Jelgava and Jēkabpils, among which there are three regional development centers - Aizkraukle, Bauska and Dobele.

The decision-making power belongs to the Development Council, which is formed by the heads of all six municipalities, one of them being elected as the chairman for two years on a rotating basis with the right to extend his term of office for another two years. The task of the administration and its specialists is to plan and coordinate the development of the region within the scope of their competence, to determine its priorities and basic principles in the long term, because one of the basic functions of the Planning Region is also to develop and update Development Programs, to ensure their implementation in life.

In the Long-Term Development Priorities of the Zemgale Planning Region for 2015 to 2030, it is stated that Zemgale is a region with a developed bio-economy, agriculture and local resources-based food industry, as well as crafts. Zemgale is a model of "coexistence" of intensive agriculture and ecological farming. Cities of national and regional importance in Zemgale are industrial and service centers of the region, which contribute to the development of rural areas. An important priority for the development of the region is the populated rural areas of Zemgale, where small businesses develop and the traditional living environment is preserved. In addition, Zemgale is a region of education, science and innovation with 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.

Therefore, ZPR not only plans and coordinates public transport in the region, coordinates cultural and vocational education activities, but also develops and implements regional and international projects in accordance with the development priorities of Zemgale, which are mainly based on the recommendations and needs of municipalities, trying to cover the largest possible territory.

Zemgale Planning region has developed and implemented projects funded by the EU and other sources and has extensive experience in the project management. Over the years, it has acted as a lead partner and as a cooperation partner in more than 60 projects. The implementation of these projects has attracted amount over 10 million EUR in the region.

ZPR cooperates with numerous partners from institutions all around EU, Zemgale’s municipalities, as well as with four other Planning regions in Latvia. Thus, ZPR has accumulated experience of coordinating many partners cross border, administration has established a knowhow and practical experience of managing large scale projects with an infrastructure component thus being able to also provide consultations to partner organizations on public procurement, financial and reporting issues.

About region:

Zemgale is located in the central part of Latvia, to the South from Riga. Region is located along the border of Lithuania and borders Latgale, Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Riga planning regions. It is located in the central part of the Zemgale plain.

The Zemgale area includes 10 742 sq km, which is 16.6% of the total territory of Latvia. The cities occupy 645 sq km, or 6% of the total territory of the Zemgale region. The high soil fertility and relatively unpolluted agricultural and natural areas are significant advantages of Zemgale, which defines the potential for agricultural development and specialisation. Forests cover about 40% of the territory in Zemgale. Taking into consideration the existing forest resources it is a great possibility to develop woodworking successfully. There are considerable peat, clay, dolomite, rock gypsum, limestone, gravel and sand extraction places in Zemgale, in total of 156 mineral extraction places within the territory. Two major Latvian rivers - Daugava and Lielupe - crosses Zemgale region. The stocks of the water resources are sufficient for both economic activities and human consumption. Ground water is mainly used for water supply.

In Zemgale, there are five national importance roads and important international transport corridors and their intersection, the main highway and railway lines, long-distance natural gas and petroleum pipelines and fibre optic cables.

Special values of Zemgale:

  • There are located two cities of national importance in the region - Jelgava and Jekabpils, which are developing as education, health, culture, sports and science centers for the region's development and Latvian impellent;
  • The second highest density of the population is in Zemgale, as well as the lowest demographic load among the regions of Latvia;
  • There is the third largest university in Latvia - Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, branches of other universities, college education, vocational training institutions which provide wide opportunities for development of human resources in the region;
  • Zemgale has intellectual and scientific potential, especially in agriculture and forestry sectors, which promote high-quality professional training and research development;
  • Zemgale has long industrial production and handicraft traditions, advanced processing and manufacturing industry - wood, metal industry, chemical industry, mining, textile industry;
  • There is a developed business support infrastructure in the region - business incubators and business parks, industrial and logistics parks, research institutes and technology transfer centers.

A long-term development vision states that Zemgale should be a region with a favourable living environment, a region with the developed knowledge-intensive economy, production units and services with high added value, and a region with a cultural environment and landscape typical of Zemgale, where the balance between the individual and environment is maintained.