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Estonia

Estonia is the most northerly of the three Baltic States and is a predominantly flat country on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea.

The most important sectors of Estonia’s economy in 2012 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.2 %), industry (21.2 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (14.4 %).

Estonia’s main export partners are Sweden, Finland and Russia, while its main import partners are Finland, Germany and Sweden.

Capital: Tallinn

Geographical size: 45 227.0 km2

Population: 1 325 217 (2012)

Population as % of total EU population: 0.3 % (2012)

GDP: € 17.415 billion (2012)

Official EU language: Estonian

Political system: parliamentary republic

EU member country since: 1 May 2004

Seats in the European Parliament: 6

CurrencyEurozone member since 1 January 2011

Passport-free travel? Yes, Schengen Area member since 1 May 2004

Presidency of the Council: Estonia will hold the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time in the first half of 2018.

Estonia in the EU

European Parliament

There are 6 members of the European Parliament from Estonia. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Estonia eesti keel.

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Estonian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like, for example, the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Estonian presidencies:

Jan-Jun 2018

More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Estonia to the European Commission is Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Commission representation in Estonia

European Economic & Social Committee

Estonia has 7 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Committee of the Regions

Estonia has 7 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Estonia also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Estonia's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Estonia contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole. 

Breakdown of Estonia’s finances with the EU in 2012: 

  • Total EU spending in Estonia: € 954 million
  • Total EU spending as % of Estonian GNI: 5.88 %
  • Total Estonian contribution to the EU budget: € 153.5 million
  • Estonian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.95 % 

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Estonia

The money paid into the EU budget by Estonia helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Estonia benefits from EU funding.

Practical information