TALLINN – The Estonian government at its Cabinet sitting on Thursday instructed ministries to search for additional opportunities in their area of government for speeding up the development of East-Viru county under a program that has a budget of 5.1 million euros for 2020.
Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab said that even though the program for East-Viru county launched in 2018 has seen a successful start, additional measures are necessary to speed up the region's development.
"I made a proposal to update the action plan for East-Viru county and expand the program for East-Viru county to make a greater contribution to the region's development, including create new jobs and make investments," the minister said in a press release.
The action plan embraces activities by different authorities directed towards East-Viru county, whose financing and implementation are planned by the respective authorities themselves. The program meanwhile was launched specially to finance activities not included among the actions undertaken by the various authorities in East-Viru county.
"I am expecting proposals from ministries for how they can make a contribution specifically to the development of East-Viru county in planning their activities for the coming years. I believe that we can help the region as a result of cross-ministry cooperation," Aab said.
In accordance with the guidelines approved on Thursday, the ministries of economic affairs and communications, social affairs, education and research, interior, environment, and culture must analyze in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance the possibilities contained in the activities of their area of government and their impact on the development of East-Viru county. Feedback must be given to the Ministry of Finance by January 2020.
The main objective of the program for East-Viru county is to enliven the region's economy. One of its goals is to make the region attractive as a place to live and put a stop to the leaving of young people.
The size of the program's budget when it comes to the activities already decided upon is approximately four million euros per year until 2023. In 2020, the amount will be 5.1 million euros. Aab said their wish is for the program to be expanded with additional effective activities.
To date, money under the program has been used to support industrial enterprises creating jobs in the region in expanding their business and advice offered to businesses on the conduct of digitalization of manufacturing processes.
To develop the service sector, but also to raise the region's attractiveness, the activity of the Viru Film Foundation as well as the "Kremli oobikud" ("The Kremlin's Nightingales") musical show, the "Magede haal" ("Voice of the Mountains") festival and Narva Energy Run have been supported. The creation of new companies is supported through expanding the activities of Startup Estonia to East-Viru county.
"East-Viru county is doing better and better. The monitoring report for last year shows that the number of visitors is growing and ever more industrial parks are being established in the region," Aab said.
The minister of public administration must present his proposals for expanding the program for East-Viru county with additional activities to the Cabinet in February 2020. An overview of the costs entailed in the implementation of the program must be presented as part of the process for the national budget strategy for 2021-2024 by March 1 next year.
The minister will take the updated action plan for 2015-2030 to the Cabinet in December 2020 the latest.