The Estonian Cooperation Assembly that connects non-governmental organizations and monitors topics which influence the country's long-term development, has released their suggestions for better governance.
According to the assembly, the quality of the services provided by the state and local administrations have decreased and become too burdensome. The demographic situation, however, creates further economic and social pressures.
The assembly has, therefore, proposed a plan Tuesday that would help to combat these problems and make Estonian governance more effective, transparent, sensible and concrete.
The proposed plan identifies problems and available solution in five areas: participatory democracy, local authority, state administration, the government and the Parliament.
Key proposals include:
- Substituting formal "engagement" of interest groups with substantive participation in the decision-making process, placing greater value on participatory democracy, and organizing more public polls and votes;
- Local government reform that would lower the number of municipalities and improve the quality and widen the array of services the local authorities are responsible for;
- Improving the work of government offices, cutting the number of state and government employees and increasing their decision-making powers and responsibilities;
- Making budget planning more flexible, stopping it from being based on unnecessary, workload and cost-increasing measurements;
- Losing costly intermediate agencies (foundations, public bodies) that are being used for hiding government costs, referring political analyses and planning responsibilities back to government institutions;
- Parliament reform - including experts to advise the committees and relaxing employment restrictions of the MPs.