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Government unveils forced merger plan for small municipalities

Estonia's map will see some changes following the completion of the administrative reform.
Estonia's map will see some changes following the completion of the administrative reform. Source: (Denj za Dnjom/Postimees/Scanpix)

The Estonian government will submit merger proposals to all local governments whose populations do not fulfill the new required minimum size of 5,000.

The Ministry of Finance will submit these merger proposals to the relevant local governments no later than Feb. 15. The small maritime islands of Kihnu, Muhu, Vormsi and Ruhnu will be allowed to continue operating as independent municipalities per an exception written into the Administrative Reform Act.

Proposals will be made both to those who did not participate in any mergers during the voluntary phase as well as those with merger plans already in place but whose population size will still fall under the 5,000-resident threshold following the planned merger.

All local governments to receive merger proposals from the Ministry of Finance must submit their opinion on the proposal to their county governor within three months but no later than May 15. Pending their review, the government will thereafter make a final decision regarding these mergers.

Government-approved merger proposals

1. Town of Loksa with Kuusalu Municipality

2. Keila, Vasalemma, Padise Municipalities and town of Paldiski with town of Keila

3. Emmaste and Pühalepa Municipalities with Hiiumaa Municipality (Käina, Hiiu)

4. Town of Narva-Jõesuu (Vaivara, Narva-Jõesuu) with town of Sillamäe

5. Alutaguse Municipality (Iisaku, Alajõe, Mäetaguse, Tudulinna), Illuka Municipality and Toila Municipality (Toila, Kohtla, Kohtla-Nõmme)

6. Lüganuse Municipality with Kiviõli municipality (town of Kiviõli, Sonda Municipality)

7. Koeru Municipality with Järva municipality (Järva-Jaani, Albu, Ambla, Imavere, Kareda, Koigi)

8. Rakke Municipality with Väike-Maarja Municipality

9. Haljala Municipality (Haljala, Vihula) with Rakvere Municipality (Sõmeru, city of Rakvere)

10. Kanepi Municipality (Kõlleste, Kanepi, Valgjärve) with Põlva Municipality (town of Põlva, Ahja, Laheda, Mooste, Vastse-Kuuste)

11. Saarde Municipality (Saarde, Surju) with Häädemeeste Municipality (Häädemeeste, Tahkuranna)

12. Tõstamaa Municipality with city of Pärnu (city of Pärnu, Audru, Paikuse)

13. Juuru Municipality with Rapla Municipality (town of Rapla, Kaiu, Raikküla)

14. Pöide Municipality with Saaremaa Municipality (town of Kuressaare, Lääne-Saare, Orissaare, Pihtla, Valjala, Salme, Kihelkonna, Laimjala, Mustjala, Torgu, Leisi)

15. Peipsiääre Municipality (Alatskivi, Vara, Peipsiääre), town of Kallaste and Pala Municipality

16. Kambja Municipality with Ülenurme Municipality

17. Tabivere Municipality with Tartu Municipality (Piirissaare, Tartu, Laeva)

18. Nõo Municipality with Elva Municipality (town of Elva, Konguta, Rannu, Rõngu, Palupera, Puhja)

19. Luunja and Tähtvere Municipalities with the city of Tartu

20. Puka Municipality with Otepää Municipality (town of Otepää, Sangaste, villages of Palupera Municipality)

21. Värska, Mikitamäe, Meremäe Municipalities and Luhamaa-area villages of Misso Municipality

22. Antsla Municipality (Antsla, Urvaste) and Vastseliina Municipality (Vastseliina, Orava) with Võru Municipality (Lasva, Sõmerpalu, town of Võru)

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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