Introduced by party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski on Wednesday, the economic programme of the coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) ahead of the upcoming Riigikogu elections focuses on education, the development of the e-state as well as a green economy.
"The competitiveness of the Estonian economy is one of the central mainstays upon which the well-being of the Estonian people rests, and Social Democrats believe in the market economy," Mr Ossinovski said when presenting the programme. "This means that business decisions and the risks accompanying them are borne predominantly by companies, and it is the duty of the state to create the necessary preconditions for companies."
According to Mr Ossinovski, the party's economic policy could be summarised in three keywords: human capital, innovation, and green economy. Of these, he emphasised the importance of education in particular.
"In a country with few natural resources like Estonia, education policy is the best economic policy," said the party chairman, adding that basic education is no longer sufficient in modern society. Thus, the party believes that young people should acquire at least a vocational education.
The programme also highlights the need for further investments in higher education and research. At least one of Estonia's universities should be helped to make the top 100 of universities worldwide, Mr Ossinovski said.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist highlighted the importance of the digitisation of the economy, which would create a better business environment for startups as well as cut red tape.
In developing the e-state, he said, the number one priority should be convenience of use. To ensure this, legislative drafting and bureaucracy need to be reduced by a quarter over the next four years.
Regarding the development of the green economy, which is also a priority in the party's economic programme, the SDE believes that good prerequisites exist in Estonia for successfully working on innovations that could help solve critical environmental challenges.
The SDE is one of two junior partners in the current three-party government coalition.
The 2019 Riigikogu elections will be held on 3 March.
Editor: Aili Vahtla