Government approves plan for 100 days in office

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Ministry of the Interior coat of arms. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Estonian government on Thursday approved its plan of actions for the first 100 days in office. The most important task is exiting the coronavirus crisis.

The government has set eight overall objectives - principles for exiting the COVID-19 crisis, healthy people, smart economy, green Estonia, smart and educated people, active and protected Estonia, well-balanced Estonia, and open and secure rule of law.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said the government's plan for the first 100 days in office as ambitious.

"During the next 100 days, the government will engage both in resolving critical issues of the COVID-19 crisis as well as strategic tasks that look to the future and will take life in Estonia forward. The wellbeing of the people of Estonia, the economy and the environment will be continuously in the center of our attention," the premier said.

Under the plan, the government will set out during its first 100 days in office the principles and action plan for exiting the coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, it will set forth measures to support the exit from the COVID-19 crisis in education.

The government will work towards enabling everyone to get a vaccination against coronavirus for free and near their home starting from May 2021. 

In collaboration with business organizations, the government will update support measures aimed at facilitating a faster recovery of the economy in the fields which have sustained particularly big damage. Proposals will be made for the further implementation of the crisis measures of both the Rural Development Foundation and Kredex, as well as a program prepared for enlivening the tourism sector.

To ensure the sustainability of the system of financing of healthcare, the government will launch a human-centered healthcare reform by which insurance coverage will be expanded and doctor wait times reduced. 

The government will continue negotiations with the European Commission on obtaining the necessary financing for the establishment of Tallinn Hospital. 

Under the guidance of the minister of social affairs, proposals will be devised for the sustainable organization and updating of the financing models of long-term care and the creation of a  package of support for informal caregivers. 

The government wants to tap into EU funds, such as funds of the 2021-2027 budgetary period and the recovery fund, which enable to carry out structural reforms and compensate various parties for COVID-19 related damage.

Under the guidance of the minister of public administration, a regional development action plan will be prepared for ensuring regional investments and balanced development across Estonia. Also, the real estate policy of the state as the owner will be reviewed and the real estate strategy updated.  

Under the guidance of the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure, a strategy on hydrogen fuels and a pilot project in hydrogen will be prepared to test in Estonia the entire hydrogen supply chain from production to the use of hydrogen.

The government is planning to speed up the plan for the electrification of the railway in the directions Tallinn-Tartu-Koidula/Valga and Tallinn-Narva. Among other things, this will give Operail and Elron confidence to invest in greener trains. 

The government plans to prepare an action plan for achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and to set it as a national goal. 

Under the guidance of the Ministry of the Environment, an agreement will be sought both for the preparation of the forestry development plan as well as the preparation of a richness of life plan in collaboration with scientists. The discussion on the possibilities for the implementation of nuclear energy in Estonia will continue and a relevant work group is to be established.  

Under the guidance of the minister of education and research, an action plan on Estonian-language education will be launched to give everyone equal possibilities to continue their studies and participate in society's life and professional life. Additional teaching staff will be hired to provide teaching in Estonian in kindergartens. Also, the wish is to support people of other language backgrounds studying in Estonian-medium schools.

The minister of culture is planning to come up with a proposal for the preparation of a development plan for the field of culture for the period until 2030. To provide greater support to the Russian-speaking population in learning Estonian, the concept of Estonian Language Houses will be expanded. 

Under the guidance of the minister of social affairs, a system of family reconciliation will be created and made available across Estonia.

The minister of foreign affairs will submit to the government action plans for intensifying relations with Estonia's most important allies. During its first 100 days in office, the government is planning to approve its goals and main activities for intensifying relations with the United States. After that, also other important allied relationships of Estonia with the UK, Germany, France, Poland, and the Nordic and the Baltic countries will be addressed. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will analyze the achievements of the elected membership of Estonia in the UN Security Council, among other things, for the Estonian presidency in 2021. 

Under the guidance of the minister of defense, Baltic defense cooperation is to be intensified and security topics brought to the fore in the communication between the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The changes to be made under the guidance of the minister of rural affairs include amendments to be introduced in the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, where the disbursement of over 300 million euros between existing measures needs to be decided about. 

In the field of internal security, a development plan for the period until 2030 is to be approved. The shaping of the crisis management policy of Estonia is to be brought together into the Government Office, for which the Emergency Act is to be amended. 

The minister of justice has submitted to the government an anti-corruption action, which seeks to help make decision-making more transparent in both the public and private sectors and raise awareness about corruption.  

Plans are for the government's anti-crime priorities to be updated, while paying specific attention to the resolving of crimes related to close relationship violence and children, as well as ensuring a fair economic environment and competitiveness. 

The government will support the rapid construction of the 5G network and the implementation of new technologies. For this, the government will endorse security requirements for communications networks, after which the country can move ahead with 5G frequency tenders.  

Also the state reform action plan is being updated to secure governance that is sustainable, efficient, and takes account of the needs of the population.

The government will complete its first 100 days in office on May 5.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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