TALLINN – Altogether over 91.6 million euros was allocated in 2018 to support regional projects in Estonia.
Support was allocated from state budget programs to 2,256 projects, altogether 9.4 million euros. Support from European structural and investment funds was granted to 93 projects in the total sum of 55.9 million euros, the Ministry of Finance said.
In addition, Estonian partners participated in 69 cooperation projects of the European Territorial Cooperation, where Estonian partners were allocated as support 26.2 million euros with the decisions of the monitoring committees of the programs.
"The role of community life and equal access to public services across Estonia is very important to us -- hopefully it will encourage people to return to rural areas," Minister of Public Administration Janek Maggi said. "That is why we are convinced of the need to continue with regional programs and, with the help of this, tidy up the village image of the rural areas of Estonia. This was also included in the coalition agreement signed last week."
Various regional development support programs were funded from the state budget, some of which are directed toward supporting specific regions, like low density areas and small islands, while others are directed toward all regions of Estonia.
Funding was given from the European structural and investment funds for activities aimed toward increasing employment and entrepreneurial activity outside the urban areas of Tallinn and Tartu. In addition, the increase in the share of users of sustainable modes of movement in five larger urban regions, as well as providing childcare facilities close to home in the urban areas of Tallinn, Tartu and Parnu and revitalizing underused areas in the larger urban areas of East-Viru County were supported.
Support per capita was highest in Hiiu County with 306 euros and lowest in Harju County with 8 euros. In addition, Hiiu County also had the highest number of supported projects per 1,000 residents. Given the absolute volume of support, support was granted the most to Viljandi County, 9.3 million euros, and Tartu County, 8.5 million euros.
In order to realize Estonia's regional development strategy, the state is to allocate a total of approximately 324 million euros for regional support during the period 2014-2020.