Think Tank: Estonia Lacks Coordinated Crisis Response

(ERR)
2/12/2014 9:29 AM
Category: Politics

A report from the International Center for Defense Studies concludes that Estonia would lack a coordinated approach to a crisis or war, and that the response from government agencies will require more planning.

The think tank was tasked by the Parliamentary National Defense Committee to research how the state would go about the business of co-coordinating actions in wartime or crisis, ETV reported.

The study concludes that although Estonia has seen plenty of military and rescue exercises, including international ones, and does engage in planning, there is no vision for how agencies and ministries would inter-operate. A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also mentioned this aspect, ETV said.

Tomas Jermalavicius, a researcher with the center, said ministries were very independent and did not have a sense of collective responsibility in resolving critical situations.

"This independence will from time to time get in the way of joint planning, and preparation for crisis," he said.

A secondary problem is that a lack of collective planning means lack of common planning and funding. While defense expenditures do get 2 percent of GDP as required by NATO membership, the money for ensuring vital services comes from elsewhere. Denmark has a special security fund for special expenditures, for example, and Jermalavicius said one solution would be a temporary reserve fund that would fund the private sector, public sector and NGOs willing to invest in crisis preparedness.

Parliamentary committee chairman Mati Raidma said a review of the Emergencies Act is planned after the new version of the National Defense Act is finalized this year.


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