Estonian president: Local govts, farmers expect greater involvement from state

  • 2024-04-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian President Alar Karis said after appointing Piret Hartman minister of regional affairs on Friday that local government expect greater involvement and more trust from the state.

"A complex portfolio involving both local governments and agriculture, both of which expect greater involvement and more trust from the state," the head of state said after the appointment of the new minister. "Yesterday and the day before, I was in Rapla County, where this wish sounded like a refrain at all meeting with local entrepreneurs and municipality leaders. I have heard the same in different corners of Estonia."

Karis also recalled the statement heard in several municipalities that the state gives municipalities long-term obligations, but short-term funding. For example, with civil protection, the state has high expectations for cities and municipalities, but several rural municipality mayors have admitted that they lack competence as well as money to hire the necessary staff or for possible reconstructions. Also, not every municipality can cope with IT development on its own. It is especially overwhelming for smaller municipalities, where there is a lack of competent IT workers and resources.

According to the president, the state control bureaucracy should also be reviewed to see if all of it is justified.

"Farmers and local entrepreneurs are baffled and do not understand why the state does not trust them," Karis said.