The European Commission's recommendations for Estonia include expanding unemployment insurance benefits to cover non-standard forms of work and updating vehicles.
The European Commission on Monday published its country-specific recommendations for the next six months. The Commission urges Estonia to expedite renewable energy projects, secure cross-border energy links and render the transport sector more environmentally friendly. Social security should also be given more attention.
The Commission places Estonia in a group of 18 member states based on the fiscal deficit criterion. While the country has escaped the list in the past, the Commission's forecast suggests Estonia's deficit will exceed the 3 percent of GDP ceiling specified in the base treaty. Lithuania and Poland are also forecast to sport bigger than usual deficits.
The Commission finds that Estonia needs to plan for growing and unexpected expenses in connection with the war in Ukraine over the next six months. The government must stand ready to quickly alter planned spending based on situational developments.
Estonia is also urged to strengthen its social security net by designating new social insurance benefit recipients. Benefits should also be in place for those who do odd jobs and use other atypical forms of working.
The Commission suggests Estonia invest in the green and digital turns and boosting energy security.
The country is also expected to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and expedite the adoption of renewables. The Commission believes Estonia should be faster in issuing renewable energy permits.
Estonia is one of only a few European countries with no car taxes. Carbon emissions from transport have been growing in recent years, mainly because vehicles used are not economical enough.
The Commission finds Estonia should stimulate the renewal of its fleet of personal vehicles, motivating people to trade their old and polluting vehicles in for environmentally friendly alternatives. At the same time, it should be made sure the measures would not be beyond the reach of vehicle owners with modest income.
Editor: Marcus Turovski