According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the government has undertaken an ambitious 100-day plan. “In the next hundred days, the government will address both the critical issues of the COVID-19 crisis and the forward-looking strategic tasks aiming to improve life in Estonia. Our main focus is on the well-being of the Estonian people, economy, and environment.”
The main objectives of the government and the tasks of the 100-day plan
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic
In the 100 days, the government will develop the principles and the action plan needed to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This includes measures to support the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in education.
The government is working to ensure that beginning from May, everyone wanting to do so can get vaccinated against the coronavirus free of charge and near their home.
In cooperation with business organisations, the government is supplementing support measures aimed at facilitating a faster economic recovery in areas where losses have been particularly high. Proposals will be made for the further implementation of the crisis measures of both the Rural Development Foundation and KredEx, and a program to revitalise the tourism sector will be developed.
Healthy and content people
In order to ensure the sustainability of the health care financing system, the government plans to initiate a people-centred health care reform that will expand insurance coverage and reduce waiting lists.
The government will continue negotiations with the European Commission to obtain the necessary funding for the construction of Tallinn Hospital. The objective is to build a new modern medical campus by 2026 in place of the hospital buildings of East and West Tallinn Central Hospitals.
Proposals will be developed under the leadership of the minister of social protection for the renewal of the sustainable management and financing models of long-term care and for the establishment of a support package for carers.
The government considers it important and is working towards rapidly mobilising European Union funds (budget period 2021–2027, recovery instrument, etc.), which will enable structural reforms to be carried out and compensate for the losses from the COVID-19 crisis.
An action plan for regional development will be prepared under the leadership of the minister of public administration to ensure regional investments and balanced development throughout Estonia. The building policy of the state as the owner will also be reviewed and the building strategy will be updated.
A hydrogen fuels strategy and a hydrogen pilot project will be developed under the leadership of the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure in order to test the entire hydrogen chain from production to utilisation in Estonian conditions.
The government plans to approve the schedule for railway electrification on the lines of Tallinn-Tartu-Koidula/Valga and Tallinn-Narva. This will allow the state to make plans regarding the use of money for investments more efficiently and will give Operail and Elron the confidence to invest in more green trains.
The government plans to develop an action plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and set it as a national objective.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment, an agreement is being sought both for the preparation of a new forestry development plan as well as for the establishment of a biodiversity development plan in cooperation with scientists. The discussion on the possibility of using nuclear energy in Estonia will also continue, and a corresponding working party is planned be established to address this topic.
Educated and smart people
An action plan for Estonian-language education will be initiated under the leadership of the minister of education and research to give everyone an equal opportunity to continue their studies and participate in the society and working life. Additional teachers are hired to ensure Estonian-language education in kindergartens. The aim is to also support non-Estonian speaking students in Estonian-language schools.
The minister of culture plans to present a proposal for the preparation of a development plan for the field of culture, which is the basis for the development of the entire sector until 2030. The concept of a so-called cultural backpack will also be developed, which will enable every basic school student to experience exhibitions, concerts, and theatre performances. In order to offer greater support to the Russian-speaking population in learning Estonian, the concept of Estonian Language Houses will be expanded.
A family reconciliation system will be established under the leadership of the minister of social protection, which will provide an opportunity to ensure the best welfare of the child in the event of parental separation. Life management agreements could be concluded both out of court and at an early stage of the court proceedings. With the creation of the state family reconciliation system, a service of uniform quality will be made available throughout Estonia.
An active and protected Estonia
The minister of foreign affairs will submit to the government action plans to strengthen relations with Estonia’s most important allies. During the first 100 days, the government plans to approve goals and key actions to strengthen relations with the USA. After that, other important allied relations for Estonia with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Poland, and the Nordic and Baltic states will also be addressed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will analyse the achievements of Estonia’s membership in the UN Security Council and set further goals, including for the Estonian Presidency in 2021.
Under the leadership of the minister of defence, it is planned to enhance Baltic defence cooperation and bring security issues to the fore in the communication between the governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
In the field of defence, the government has already decided to notify conscripts and reservists of recruitment by e-channels instead of mail, which will make it easier to attend military service or training gatherings.
A balanced Estonia
Under the leadership of the minister of rural affairs, changes must be introduced in the Estonian Rural Development Plan 2014–2020, where a decision needs to be made on the distribution of more than 300 million euros between existing measures. A development plan for agriculture and fisheries is also submitted to the government for approval, setting strategic goals until 2030. The Ministry of Rural Affairs analyses and makes proposals for the development and implementation of a program to facilitate rural settlement.
An open and secure rule of law
Strategic goals are also set in place in the field of internal security, where it is planned to approve a development plan valid until 2030 under the leadership of the minister of the interior. Among other tasks, the Ministry of the Interior makes proposals for the renewal and ensuring the sustainability of the radars of the Estonian maritime surveillance system. It is planned to concentrate the development of crisis management policy in the Government Office, which will amend the Emergency Act.
The minister of justice presented an anti-corruption action plan to today’s government session, which will help make decisions more transparent in both the public and private sectors and raise awareness of the threat of corruption.
There are plans to renew the government’s anti-crime priorities, with a special focus on tackling intimate partner violence and child-related crime, as well as ensuring a fair economic environment and competitiveness.
The government supports the rapid construction of the 5G network and the introduction of new technologies. To this end, the security requirements for communications networks will be approved, after which we can also proceed with 5G frequency competitions.
An action plan for state reform is also being renewed in order to form a sustainable, efficient, and accountable state government.
The 100-day plan of the government is available at: https://valitsus.ee/media/3794/download
One hundred days will pass from the government taking office on 5 May 2021. Next week, the government plans to approve a longer-term working plan: the government’s action plan until 2023.