Local Government Reforms Are Oversimplified, Says Academic ({{commentsTotal}})

Professor Ülle Madise Source: Photo: ERR
News
News

Overhauling Estonia's local government system, in light of the urbanization of the country, was at the heart of the first major debate at the two-day Arvamusfestival (Opinion Festival) in Paide today.

One of the first experts to speak, University of Tartu professor of constitutional law Ülle Madise, said locals would not be any happier today if Estonia had years ago embarked on cutting the number of local governments (there are around 220), a move advocates say would improve the distribution of resources.

"What would have happened if we had 15 or 100 or 80 municipalities? Would more kilometers of roads have dustless surfaces, would wintry roads be cleared faster? Would there be more rural jobs, fewer people moving to the city? I fear the answer to these questions would be 'no,'” Madise said.

She said that people tend to simplify the administrative reform debate, believing that new borders would make life easier.

A local government should mean that the local community can decide on its own, said Madise, adding that the other function is to be an extension of the state in helping people.

On another note, Madise suggested that the tax system should take into account the fact that, despite urbanization, many people in Estonia still move to their country homes for summer.

Another expert, the editor in chief of Akadeemia, Toomas Kiho, said that wages for civil servants and other state employees, like teachers, should be higher the further they work from large towns and settlements, as an incentive.



{{c.alias}}
{{c.createdMoment}}
{{c.body}}
{{cc.alias}}
{{cc.createdMoment}}
+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long
{{comment.captcha.word.answer}}

news.err.ee

Opinion
Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: news@err.ee