Businesses and trade unions call for state reform

Quo vadis, Estonia? (Courtesy of Government Office)
3/5/2015 2:41 PM
Category: Politics

Business umbrella organizations and trade unions say the single most important task of the new government is modernizing the state apparatus and making it more efficient.

“The success of the past two decades came as a result of brave and statesman-like decisions and the base for the success for the next decades must be build by similarly bold decisions today,” a letter sent by the Trade Union Confederation, the Employees' Unions' Confederation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Employers Confederation, said.

“We are obligated to create more, and spend less and more wisely,” the letter continued, “The basis for a comprehensive and successful state reform is coordination, to avoid waste and duplicating work, maintaining the correct state size, to only focus on what is important, simplicity, to guarantee operation, and a mindset fixed on the result, not the process.”

According to the organizations, state reform should have six stages, including improving efficiency of the work force, which means more focus on improving the education system. The state should back fields such as engineering and further develop the vocational education system.

The second field is administrative reform, where the state should be more pragmatic in dividing responsibilities between the state and local government levels. The letter says the number of municipalities should be decreased in order to increase capability and sustainability.

Modernizing the tasks of state institutions is the third aim, with the organizations saying that the functions and resources of state institutions should be reviewed. Offices which duplicate or which are too expensive should be cut. The slogans of legislation should be “less is more,” and “improved and more purposeful,” the letter said, adding that the current situation, where success is measured by the high number of new laws, is unacceptable. The financial impact of any new laws must be analyzed.

The fourth topic is a move towards a more modern society, where the role of agreements based on good faith is greater.

The fifth area is public administration, where quality and availability must be increased without the apparatus growing.

The last field is sustainability of public services, where an analysis is needed on which public services are actually needed and to what extent.

J.M. Laats

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