Eastern border maintenance to cost €70 million through 2026 ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian border markers.
Estonian border markers. Source: PPA

In addition to the cost of the construction itself of Estonia's eastern border, which has been estimated to total €190 based on prices from the past year, maintenance of the border is expected to cost another €70 million through 2026, according to a memorandum presented to the Estonian government by Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE).

According to expert estimates, based on 2017 prices, construction of the eastern border is estimated to cost a total of €188-194 million. As pre-construction work and the construction itself will span the course of 11 years, however, considering changes in prices and wages, the projected total cost is actually €250.3 million.

Already utilised and planned sources of funding for the border project total €71 million, €66.1 million of which will be sourced from earmarked reserves of the Ministry of Finance, and €4.9 million of which will be covered by external financing. Thus, the Ministry of the Interior will have to plan another €179.3 million for the Ministry of Finance's reserves.

Construction costs will not be the only costs incurred in connection with Estonia's eastern border, however. According to estimates published in February, the border's projected maintenance costs through 2026 totalled €54.8 million, but expert opinions reflecting the Ministry of Finance's spring economic outlook added another €15.2 million onto the price tag, bringing the final total to €70 million.

Border maintenance costs are expected to total €2.1 million this year and €1.4 million next year, but are expected to jump to €13-15 million per year from 2024-2026. Beginning in 2027, annual eastern border maintenance costs are projected to total €15-16 million.

A total of €25.8 million has been planned for the Ministry of Finance's earmarked reserves through 2026, and according to Anvelt's memorandum, these reserves will need an additional €44.2 million.

Provided that €3 million continues to be planned for these reserves for annual maintenance costs, beginning on 2027, an additional €12-13 million per year needs to be budgeted for maintenance costs.

Total costs to add up to over €320 million through 2026

In summary, according to the latest estimates, a total of €320.3 million is projected to be spent on Estonia's eastern border project through the year 2026, including €188.1 million on border construction, an additional €57 million to reflect price increases according to expert opinion, €5.2 million from external sources, according to the updated estimate, and €70 million on border maintenance-related costs.

In summary, according to the latest estimates, a total of €320.3 million is projected to be spent on Estonia's eastern border project through the year 2026, including €188.1 million on border construction, an additional €57 million to reflect price increases according to expert opinion, €5.2 million from external sources, according to the updated estimate, and €70 million on border maintenance-related costs.

Sources of funding have only been planned for €96.8 million thereof, however, meaning that through 2026, an additional €223.5 million will be needed for the Ministry of Finance's earmarked reserves.

Estonia will be seeking funding from the EU as well. According to a proposal introduced by the European Commission in May, the EU budget for the border management field in the years 2021-2027 is to triple in size compared to the previous budget period. The Estonian government will form its opinions regarding the draft bill in September, and according to Anvelt's memorandum, in both this context and that of the development of the budget strategy, the construction of Estonia's eastern border should be considered a strategic investment need for the country.

The European Commission is expected to approve its next multiannual financial framework (MFF) next May.

The Estonian government at its Thursday meeting decided that construction of Estonia's eastern border would continue to move forward according to the plan compiled by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

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Editor: Aili Vahtla



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