The number of politicians sitting on the boards of Tallinn's councils, companies, and foundations will be halved and their places given to experts from outside the city government, the capital's ruling Center and SDE coalition announced on Tuesday.
Currently, the council of public transport agency AS Tallinna Linnatransport has five members: three from the Center Party, one SDE member and one city official.
There are four members of the Center Party, one SDE member and one city official on the council of heating company Tallinna Soojus AS.
Four members of the Center Party and one city official fill the positions at the dental clinic SA Tallinna Hambakliinik council.
Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center), who has led the city council for 3.5 years, said he has always believed more experts and fewer politicians should play a role in managing the city's companies and foundations.
He said this is continuous development and process.
Chairman of Tallinn City Council Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) said goals have now been set by council leaders.
"We have agreed that, gradually, we will move in a direction where no more than half of council representatives will be politicians," he said.
The changes will be in place by July 2023, the chairman said.
An expert panel will meet in December to create a framework which will be presented to the coalition in May. It will set rules for appointing members.
"Among other things, it will also review what companies and foundations are needed in the first place, what their public functions are, and on this basis, it will be possible to continue to make specific decisions, ownership guidelines and expectations for these companies, both for councils and for boards of directors," said Ossinovski.
Kõlvart said changes will start to be implemented soon mostly "during the first half of next year".
However, Tallinn's Isamaa faction leader Karl-Sander Kase said the new rules need to be implemented faster and basic guidelines already exist under a 2019 anti-corruption strategy.
Tallinn to close inner-city associations
The city will also merge and close several associations as part of a governance reorganization drive and to reduce management costs, the council announced on Tuesday.
Tallinn Linnahall and Tallinn Industrial Parks will be merged into a joint-stock company and the contract terminated for the Supervisory Foundation of Water Undertakings of Tallinn.
Several mergers have been made since 2019 as part of Tallinn's governance strategy.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright