TALLINN – A new period of European Union subsidies is about to begin, and on Tuesday, Sept. 13, regional information days will begin that will take place in six cities across Estonia until Sept. 30.
For the period 2021-2027, nearly 3.4 billion euros of European Union cohesion policy funds will be allocated to Estonia. The first measures have already been opened, the Ministry of Finance announced on Monday.
At the information events in Kohtla-Jarve, Voru, Tartu, Viljandi, Parnu and Tallinn, the various options available for potential beneficiaries will be introduced. There will be six objectives in the use of the subsidies: an Estonia that is smarter, greener, more connected, more socially oriented, and closer to the people, as well as just transition.
"The major key themes for the upcoming funding period are energy saving, the deployment of renewable energy and the move towards a greener and more resource-efficient economy, which are particularly relevant in the current context. With the support of the Structural Funds, we will be able to make stronger leaps forward in these areas in the coming years -- one-third of the new period's budget is intended to support the green transition," Kadri Tali, head of the state budget department at the Ministry of Finance, said in a press release.
"Another equally important goal is to increase the research, development and innovation capacity of Estonian companies and the introduction of digital technologies, and plans are for 740 million euros to be invested for this. We will contribute to making Estonia a well-functioning environment for creating smart solutions that would increase our competitiveness, people's well-being, and make government more efficient," Tali added.
The ministry noted that the use of funds from the previous period, 2014-2021, has been positive in general. Already, more has been achieved in some areas than originally planned: roads have been upgraded, new kindergartens and childcare centers have been established, and health centers have been modernized. One hundred percent of the volume of funding of the previous period is covered by decisions and contracts, and projects with said funding can be implemented until the end of 2023.
Estonia has submitted to the European Commission for formal approval the operational program for cohesion policy funds and the just transition plan for 2021-2027. Negotiations are nearing their end and formal approval is expected in October.