Government to reorganize work at five ministries

The "Super Ministry" in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The coalition agreement prescribes reorganizing the work of five ministries. Because this requires laws to be amended, the process should be finished by the start of next year.

The goal of reorganizing ministries' work is included in the agreement's annex. Changes go beyond creating the new climate and living environment ministry and regional ministry and concern a total of five ministries.

"Hopefully, I will become the health minister, with a clear focus on that one area of responsibility. Work that has until now been in the health minister's portfolio will move to that of the economic affairs minister. Because the labor market, labor relationships and the economy are linked," incoming health minister Riina Sikkut (SDE) said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be replaced with an economic affairs and IT ministry to which structural units from the Ministry of Social Affairs will be added.

The Ministry of Rural Affairs will be turned into a regional ministry and units from the current finance, social affairs and economic affairs ministries attached to it.

Sikkut said that reshuffling these areas of responsibility required much debate during coalition talks.

"The change itself is complicated, works to confuse officials and requires amending several laws. It is a longer process and not something that a political decision can change overnight. The process is starting now, and major reorganization will be done after a few months."

State Secretary Taimar Peterkop said that changes will happen in stages. The administrative areas of the new ministers will be laid down next week.

"We can take the example of the Ministry of the Environment that will serve as the foundation for the new climate ministry. Certain fields under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, such as energy and transport, will be the responsibility of the climate minister who will be based at the Ministry of the Environment. That is the first step," Peterkop said.

Next, laws will be amended, and the third stage will see structural units move to the ministries that will govern them.

The Ministry of Rural Affairs is currently located in Tallinn's Old Town and the Ministry of the Environment in Rocca al Mare, while it is likely that the new ministries will be based somewhere else.

"It is ultimately a political decision where ministries are located and is up to relevant ministers and the government. Our working plan is to move them to the superministry building. But whether to do it and when is up to the incoming government," Peterkop said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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