Wednesday saw an initial seminar on 'Estonia 2035', which as its name suggests takes a much longer perspective on the Estonian state's development, and which was attended by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
"The compilation of the 'Estonia 2035' strategy propagates the opportunity for it to actually take place,'' Mr. Ratas was quoted by a spokesperson as having said.
''Over the next year and a half, both experts and the remainder of the population will get the opportunity to take part in agreeing on the broader goals of the state. No idea can be offhandedly swept off the table,'' he reportedly went on.
I am convinced that during the strategy creation, we will come closer to bottlenecks, aims and solutions which will help move Estonia forward successfully to the year 2035," Ratas was repored to have said.
Aims of Estonia 2035
According to a government spokesperson the strategy, which according to plans will be completed in spring 2020, will across the following 15 years issue a clear picture of the state's main aims -- what what to achieve and what issues to solve preemptively
An additional aim is to cut red tape and the fragmentation and number of the government-level development plans.
Furthermore the intention is to make the state's long-term development aims and activities more digestible to everyone, including entrepreneurs, officials and all other citizens, the spokesperson went on.
Evolution of the plan
Henry Kattago, Strategy Director at the Government Office, stated that the strategy will be compiled in consultation with a wide range of social partners, experts, politicians and officials.
"Representatives of over 100 organisations participated in the opening seminar today,'' he said.
''We will continue discussions at Arvamusfestival [a festival of opinion which takes place every August in the central Estonian town of Paide-ed.], where all those interested will be able to have their say,'' he went on.
''And starting from September, numerous content events are set to take place, with a focus on determining concrete sectoral problems, goals and solutions,'' Mr. Kattago added.
'Estonia 2035' is a notional, but amended continuation of the 'Estonia 2020' competitiveness strategy. In the framework of this strategy creation process, we will also carry out the planning of the next EU structural assets period in Estonia," he went on.
More than 200 leaders, top experts and opinion leaders from more than 130 private, public and third sector organisations participated in Wednesday's seminar. All those experts who wish to have a say in the establishment of Estonia's development aims for the next 15 years are welcome to join the strategy creation, the Government Office said.
Aprroval for the "Estonia 2035" strategy happened this March, under the auspices of the Government Office in cooperation with the Finance Ministry.
The finalised version is to be submitted the Estonian Government in 2020 for signing off, after being discussed in the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu). The strategy will be reviewed annually, and will allow for consideration of the impact of external trends as well as responding to change cooperatively and flexibly in order to support the fulfilment of the Government's aims.
In 2020, approximately half of the state sectoral development plans in progress currently are due to end, which is why an extensive compilation of follow-up strategies needs to be carried out.
'Estonia 2035' will help avoid the fragmentation of sectoral development strategies and prevent possible disharmonies, as agreeing on aims and tasks across sectors, government spokespersons said.
In with the old, out with the new
The competitiveness strategy 'Estonia 2020' across sectors will end in 2020. This will require a follow-up strategy, the role of which will be assumed by 'Estonia 2035'.
Additionally, the current EU financial period is to end in 2020 with a new one will beginning the following year, and 'Estonia 2035' should also be aimed at distributing the resulting assets more effectively
Along with the 'Estonia 2035' strategy, the new major directions of EU policy will also be established and will be woven into overall direction.
Starting from 2020, the state will also transfer to activity-based budgeting, with the prerequisite for its successful implementation being the consolidation of the framework of the state's finance and strategic planning.
Editor: Andrew Whyte