TALLINN – The government at its sitting on Thursday approved a work plan consisting of eight areas for the years 2022-2023, the three most important tasks of which are ensuring the security of the Estonian state, the transition to education in the Estonian language, and the implementation of measures to curb the energy crisis.
"The three most important tasks of the government are ensuring the security of the Estonian state, transitioning to Estonian-language education and implementing measures to curb the energy crisis in order to help our people cope with the price spikes caused by war," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said.
"We are working in the government to implement these three and other priorities. Our common wish is that everyone can continue to live safely in Estonia, that all children living in Estonia receive the best possible education and that Estonian people have the confidence to face the winter," the prime minister added.
Based on the coalition agreement, the tasks of the action program are divided among eight areas according to the government's priorities. An action plan for the transition to Estonian-language education must be completed in August. Amendments to the law enabling the transition to Estonian-language education and pre-school education must be ready in September. The government is increasing funding for higher education and wants to sign administrative contracts with universities in October.
In August, the defense minister must submit proposals to the government on strengthening air and ballistic defense, indirect fire capability and territorial defense. By September, proposals for increasing the capabilities of the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps must be completed, as well as proposals for the construction of the Narva border guard base, where the command center of the eastern border will be located. A plan on how to ensure the cyber security of public digital services and information systems must be completed in November.
Participation in the NATO Innovation Fund must be launched by January next year. The military part of the national defense development plan 2022-2031 must be updated by January 2023. By February 2023, agreements must be made for the additional deployment of key allies in Estonia. Proposals on how to keep the volume of reservist training gatherings twice as large both in 2024 and in the future must be submitted to the government by the same time.
An action plan for supporting Ukraine in its movement towards the European Union and helping Ukraine must be completed by September. Also, by that time, the principles must be clarified and an action plan ready for how to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine. At the same time, proposals must be presented in September on how to support local governments so that war refugees can cope better on their own. An action plan on how to support the return of Ukrainian refugees to their homeland must be presented by October.
Estonia supports the creation of an international tribunal to prosecute those guilty of the Russian Federation's war of aggression and war crimes. To this end, an action plan for combating impunity and giving an international legal assessment of the aggression must be completed in September.
In August, a draft amendment to the Electricity Market Act must be completed, the purpose of which is to adopt amendments to the Electricity Market Act in order to create an opportunity for household consumers to buy electricity as a universal service from Oct. 1.
The conditions and procedure for using the support for increasing the energy efficiency of small residences must also be ready in August.
By October, the intent to develop an amendment to the Energy Sector Organization Act must be completed with the aim that in 2030 the same amount of renewable electricity would be produced in Estonia as the country's total annual consumption.
The conditions and procedure for granting support for the reconstruction of apartment buildings must be ready in November.
A lowest bid auction for renewable electricity production to bring 650 GWh of renewable electricity to the market must be announced by January 2023.
In September, proposals must be submitted regarding the optimal area for renewal felling of the state forest, where the interests of the communities are taken into account in addition to economic goals and environmental factors.
In October, the inclusive forestry council must be restarted to support the adoption of the forestry development plan. The goal is to complete the forestry development plan in January 2023.
Proposals on how to prepare long-term state forest management plans for areas of high public interest must be ready in November.
Proposals for the creation of an organization managing the state fleet must be submitted in October.
The concept of the shipping package, which includes the development of an internationally competitive ship register and promotes the creation of jobs in the maritime sector, must be completed in February 2023.
Proposals for the long-term general welfare reform are due in August. Law amendments for increasing family allowance must be presented in September. Also, by that time, an amendment to the law for raising the basic exemption to 654 euros per month must be submitted.
At the beginning of fall, the plan also is to adopt the regulations for the measure to mitigate the impact of the increase in the price of energy carriers and an amendment to the law must be submitted to extend the current lower excise rate for electricity and fuel excises and diesel fuel carrying a fiscal marker until April 1, 2024.
Proposals for promoting energy saving investments must be submitted in October.
In January 2023, the welfare development plan 2023-2030 must be presented.
In order to improve the availability of living spaces outside the major city, proposals on adjusting the conditions of the housing fund's investment support must be completed in August and an analysis on the expansion of the housing co-loan must be ready in September. Proposals for the creation of a housing investment facility must be ready in December.
In September, a measure to support the innovation of public libraries must be ready, and in November, a bill to amend the Public Libraries Act must be ready in order to develop libraries into community service centers.
In October, an analysis on the financing of EU transitional support to alleviate regional inequality must be completed.
Proposals on the principles of demand-based public transport service provision for their implementation across Estonia must be prepared in November.
An analysis must be completed in December to ensure the social security and fair remuneration of creative workers.
In January 2023, an analysis for the modernization of the public service must be completed.
The support measure for the establishment of a very high-capacity electronic communication access network to accelerate the last mile internet connection program and the construction of connections must be implemented in February 2023.
The action program also shows the distribution of the government coalition's areas of responsibility both in the government and in the Riigikogu. The action program for the implementation of the fundamental principles of the government coalition is one of the basic documents for the preparation of the state's budget strategy.