You are here

Ratas: the administrative reform increased the capacity of municipalities and brought better services to people

13. February 2019 - 13:07

Stenbock House, 13 February 2019 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas acknowledged yesterday, on the Day of Cities and Rural Municipalities, the people who contributed to the successful implementation of the administrative-territorial reform and said that he was sure that as a result of these changes, cities and rural municipalities have better opportunities to develop their region more fully.

Ratas said at the event in Tallinn that the administrative-territorial changes that came into force in autumn 2017 were aimed at increasing the capacity of rural municipalities and providing high-quality services to residents. "Over the past year, most of the merged municipalities have been working to harmonise services and benefits across the new municipality. Larger municipalities have better opportunities to develop more specific services such as home care or social transportation," he said.

When talking about the growth of capability of cities and rural municipalities, Ratas said that there has been clear progress and the merged municipalities show increasingly better results. According to him, the primary data show that the total number of officials in the merged municipalities has fallen by about 10 percent, i.e. more than 300 posts. The number of managers, accountants, and other support service providers has decreased, but the share of officials organising services has increased.

Apart from completing the administrative-territorial reform, the government has increased the financial autonomy of rural municipalities, as well as their revenue base, which will increase by 185 million euros in the years 2018–2021. In addition, the cabinet has decided to increase the targeted grants provided to municipalities to perform local tasks.

In the presentation given on the Day of Cities and Rural Municipalities, the prime minister also highlighted that state-funded positions are moved out of the capital and programmes are launched for strengthening regional economic activity. 3.2 million euros will be allocated to the South-East Estonia programme until 2022 and 23.6 million euros to the Ida-Viru programme.