Discussions of EU support in Estonia focus on cooperation, green turnaround

  • 2021-03-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Participants in last week's discussions of the new European Union support period included some 1,000 partners, interest group representatives and entrepreneurs who highlighted that the focus of the support needs to be placed on the green turnaround, development of people's skills and cross-sectoral cooperation.

The measure relating to the green turnaround and climate objectives is expected to be launched the soonest, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Proposals voiced most frequently during the discussions spanning the entire last week concerned opportunities posed by the green turnaround, improvement of people's digital and green skills, all of which will affect the competitiveness of the Estonian economy and capability to introduce future technologies. Cooperation between areas as well as between the public, private and the third sector was highlighted as the prerequisite for implementing change.

Kadri Tali, head of the foreign assets division of the Ministry of Finance, said that the week-long discussions resulted in numerous meaningful proposals for launching the support period and meeting green objectives.

"It was discussed how to carry out development cooperation between businesses and research institutions as well as how to boost the circular economy, and specific proposals were also made, for instance, on how to include a rule in the strategy for greener cities that each city resident should reach their nearest green area in 15 minutes on foot," Tali said.

Triin Tomingas, adviser at the state budget department of the Ministry of Finance, said that a broad-based agreement on specific objectives needs to be reached in order for the green turnaround to prove successful -- be it an increase in production, wellbeing or something else.

"This would enable to target the related measures with greater precision, and the measures could then also cover riskier and more ambitious projects as innovation does not come about without any risks," she said.

Tomingas noted that a discussion of innovative hydrogen technologies saw participants conclude that in addition to building comprehensive hydrogen chains, domestic development of hydrogen technologies should also be boosted through EU support.

The week-long series of discussions of the new support period focused on five core dimensions -- smarter, greener, more connected and social Estonia and a state that is closer to people. The week saw altogether nearly 50 discussions held.

Estonia stands to receive altogether 4.65 billion euros from the EU structural support and the recovery and resilience facility during the 2021-2027 period. The largest share of the resources, 1.1 billion euros, will be used for making Estonia greener while 742 million euros will be directed towards attaining the objective of a smarter Estonia.