The budget of Enterprise Estonia will be cut by €134 million and the number of jobs reduced by 45 as a result of the upcoming handover of functions related to the payment of regional support to the State Shared Service Centre, officials announced on Friday.
"The goals of Enterprise Estonia are connected with increasing the export capability of Estonian businesses, bringing foreign investments to Estonia and raising tourism revenue," Enterprise Estonia board chairman Alo Ivask said in a press release. "Handing regional support, which primarily involves the public and third sectors, over to the State Shared Service Centre will allow us to better focus on our primary fields of responsibility, where we will focus our financial assets and human resources. Enterprise Estonia will continue to provide enterprise and tourism support, which support our core activities."
Enterprise Estonia board member Sigrid Harjo added that Enterprise Estonia has been the agency responsible for regional support since 2003, when the Estonian Regional Development Foundation was merged with the former.
Over the past 15 years, she noted, many facilities for locals and tourists alike, as well as several industrial areas in Ida-Viru County, Viljandi and Pärnu, to name a few, have been completed or are soon to be completed throughout the country with the help of regional support.
Regional subsidies also have been used to build or renovate hundreds of kindergartens and schools, build hundreds of kilometers of bicycle roads, provide water and sewage as well as electricty connections to thousands of households in sparsely populated areas, and provide funds for the construction of the national broadband network.
Under the agreement, Enterprise Estonia will transfer both the money earmarked for regional support and the employees is charge of it to the State Shared Service Centre, an agency operating under the Ministry of Finance.
In addition to domestic regional development programs, the secretariats of two cross-border programs — the Estonia-Latvia program and the Estonia-Russia program — and the information office of the Central Baltic Sea Program will be transferred to the State Shared Service Centre as well.
As a result of the transfer of regional support activities to the State Shared Service Centre, the EU structural funds to be channeled via Enterprise Estonia during the 2014-2020 budgetary period will decline by €254 million and state budget funds by €10 million.
Editor: Aili Vahtla