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Estonia - Regional Policy


Short-term priorities:

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Medium-term priorities:

  • to continue developing the legal, administrative and budgetary framework so that Estonia can implement an integrated national policy to tackle regional disparities and participate in EU structural programmes after acccession.

Assessment (October 1999)

Estonia has adopted a regional development strategy with a view to defining its main priorities in this field.

Assessment (November 2000)

No progress in this area.

Assessment (November 2001)

Estonia has revised the national development plan which constitutes its economic and social cohesion policy. As regards management of the Structural Funds, only limited progress has been made in improving administrative structures and interministerial coordination.

Assessment (October 2002)

Estonia has made substantial progress in its preparations to implement the structural policies. As regards its territorial organisation, it has reached agreement with the Commission on a provisional NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Statistical Units) nomenclature: the whole country is a single territory at NUTS level II and is subdivided into five geographical areas at NUTS level III. This territorial reform, introduced on a voluntary basis, has not achieved a substantial reduction in the number of local authorities. In February 2002, Estonia amended the decision on the structure for the management of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund which designated the bodies responsible for their implementation. The decisions taken in February and April 2002 set up the different levels of intermediate bodies. As regards programming, in 2001 the government opted for a single programming document (SPD). In the spring, it presented a preliminary draft of this document to the economic and social partners. The unit responsible for evaluation and monitoring, which is part of the Ministry of Finance, began the ex-ante evaluation of the SPD. The internal audit units were also set up within the central government paying agencies. The compilation of regional statistical data continued.

Estonia closed the negotiating chapter on regional policy without requesting transitional provisions. Its efforts must be concentrated primarily on preparing an integrated development strategy to reduce regional disparities and completing the draft of the SPD. Progress on the establishment of institutional structures is satisfactory with the designation of the bodies responsible for implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. However, the April 2002 decision on the delegation of responsibilities will have to be revised and the roles of the intermediate bodies specified. Progress is required as regards interministerial coordination and improving administrative capacity with particular regard to staff training. Estonia has made good progress in establishing specific procedures for financial control, audit, the certification of expenditures and the correction of irregularities. The government has also adopted common guidelines for audits.

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Following the signing of the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004.


Decision 98/264/EC of 30.3.1998
Official Journal L 121, 23.4.1998

Decision 1999/855/EC of 6.12.1999
Official Journal L 335, 28.12.1999

Commission Opinion COM(97) 2006 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(98) 705 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(1999) 504 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2000) 704 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1747
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1403
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1201
Not published in the Official Journal

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236, 23.09.2003]

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 19.11.2004
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