Five municipalities in Latvia set to merge with neighbouring territories in 2029

On Thursday, 9 December, Latvia’s parliament passed in the final reading amendments to the Law on Administrative Territories and Populated Areas. These amendments provide for the merging of Daugavpils, Jelgava, Liepaja, Rezekne and Ventspils with their neighbouring municipalities in 2029.
In the previous reading the Saeima decided to postpone the merge from the previous 2025 to 2029.
Initially the amendments prepared by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Regional Development provided for organising the merge together with municipal elections of 2025. In the end, however, the Saeima approved a proposal from coalition deputies Jānis Dombrava, Juris Pūce and Arvils Ašeradens to postpone the merge until 2029.
This year the Constitutional Court cancelled numerous decisions of the parliament in regards to the creation of new municipalities, stressing that politicians did not provide development centres for multiple new municipalities.
To fix this problem the new redaction of the law already includes cooperation between Daugavpils and Augšdaugava municipality, Jelgava and Jelgava municipality, Liepāja and Dienvidkurzeme municipality, Rēzekne and Rēzekne municipality, Ventspils and Ventspils municipality. In seven years it is planned to merge these territories.
Cooperation between the aforementioned cities and their neightbouring municipalities will be expanded until 2029.
The ministry previously explained that the initial variant of changes was prepared with respect of the ruling of the Constitutional Court in regards to the merge of Ilūkste to Augšdaugava and Ozolnieki to Jelgava.
The law amendments passed on 9 December provide for including Ilūkste to the newly-formed Daugavpils municipality and Ozolnieki to the newly-formed Jelgava municipality.