Government looks back at accomplishments (1)
The Estonian Government which on Thursday had its last cabinet meeting before elections, reviewed the coalition's action plan which was set for 2014–2015.
Taavi Rõivas's cabinet, formed by the politicians from liberal Reform Party and Social Democratic Party, assumed power in March 26, 2014.
According to the government, the coalition agreement included 199 targets in total, of which 71% (141 targets) were met, 17% (35) were partially met and 12% (23) were not met.
The monthly child allowance was raised to 45 euros for the first and second child and to 100 euros for the third and every subsequent child; the needs-based family allowance was raised to 45 euros per month for families with one child and to 90 euros per month for families with two or more children.
In tax policy, the coalition lowered the income tax rate from 21 to 20 per cent, reduced the unemployment insurance premium from 3 per cent to 2.4 per cent, and raised the basic tax exemption limit from 144 euros to 154 euros per month; additional exemption applicable to pensions was raised from 210 to 220 euros.
The European Commission and the government approved strategy documents on implementation of European funding during the new programming period, enabling to allocate nearly 4.4 billion euros for Estonia’s development over the next seven years.
In national security, the defense expenditure was increased to 2.05 per cent of GDP in the 2015 state budget; the NATO summit resulted in an increased presence of Allied troops in Estonia.
With regards to democracy and inclusion, the voting age was lowered from 18 to 16 years in local government elections.
In education sector, the minimum monthly wage of teachers was raised by 12.5 per cent - from 800 to 900 euros.
The government started issuing digital ID cards for e-residents, which started in December 2014 and is expected to support internationalization of Estonia’s economy, research and education.
In energetics, preparations continued for building the third Estonia-Latvia electricity interconnection, the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
As for the integration policy, the government initiated amendment of the Citizenship Act to loosen the criteria for citizenship acquisition for minors who are under 15 years of age and for persons who are over 65 years of age. The strategy of integration and social cohesion called “Integrating Estonia 2020” was also initiated. It was decided to create a new public TV channel in Russian.
In environment field, an ecological reserve was established in the Nabala-Tuhala area.
Estonia also signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The Estonian Government ministers:
Prime Minister - Taavi Rõivas (Reform Party - RE)
Minister of Foreign Affairs - Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (RE)
Minister of Defence - Sven Mikser (Social Democrats - SDE)
Minister of Internal and Regional Affairs - Hanno Pevkur (RE)
Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications - Urve Palo (SDE)
Minister of Finance - Maris Lauri (RE)
Minister for Social Welfare - Helmen Kütt (SDE)
Minister of Justice - Andres Anvelt (SDE)
Minister of Education and Research - Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE)
Minister of Environment - Mati Raidma (RE)
Minister of Culture - Urve Tiidus (RE)
Minister of Agriculture - Ivari Padar (SDE)
Minister (responsible for health and employment) - Urmas Kruuse (RE)
Minister (responsible for foreign trade and entrepreneurship) - Anne Sulling (RE)
When assuming power, the Minister of Finance was Jürgen Ligi, who resigned on November 3, 2014, due to public pressure after scandalous Facebook post in which he insulted the Minister of Education and Research Jevgeni Ossinovski.
Also on November 3, 2014, the previous Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet, resigned to become an MP in the European Parliament.