Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that she'll be seeking a deadline extension from the European Commission on the implementation of instruments from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which under current rules should be used by mid-2026. Partially financed from the same facility is also the Just Transition Fund (JTF) through which Estonia is supporting investments in Ida-Viru County.
"When I meet with the vice president of the European Commission on Monday, I'll definitely also be raising the question of extending the deadline for utilizing these funds so that these things can get working," Kallas said at Thursday's government press conference, referring to her bilateral meeting with Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis in Tallinn on November 6.
The prime minister didn't specify what money she meant, but had previously spoken at length about using funding from the EU's JTF to create new jobs in Ida-Viru County.
Part of the JTF comes from the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument established to help repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, funds for which the European Commission borrowed on the markets on the EU's behalf and which must be used for their intended purposes by August 2026.
The remaining share of JTF funding comes from the EU's current, 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF).
Estonia is set to receive €953 million in recovery funds, including €736 million on the basis of just transition plans. The JTF is aimed at supporting regions facing the most serious socioeconomic challenges due to the green transition; in Estonia, its chief target area is Ida-Viru County, where the scaling back of the oil shale sector threatens to leave hundreds of people jobless.
Editor: Aili Vahtla