Proposals from over 20 local governments on the use of European Union funds have been made for 2021 onward, in conjunction with the Finance Ministry. Regional development is reportedly a major focus in the coming budgetary strategy period.
The Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities (ELVL) presented its EU structural funds proposals to the Ministry of Finance following a brainstorming session the association held. Proposals pertaining to the EU Just Transition Fund, aimed at a climate-neutral economy, are also tabled.
Tiit Terek, board chair of the (ELVL), said that: “Among other things, we wish to provide more targeted support to regions and take the specifics of regions into account. The parties decided to continue the negotiations by organizing meetings between representatives of the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities SS and the planners of structural funds covering the new period.”
Discussions focused on the 2021 state budget and the 2021-2024 budget strategy, with emphasis on improving regional considerations.
EU structural funds’ division will focus on six national goals: A more “social” Estonia, an Estonia closer to its people, a smart Estonia, a greener Estonia, a more connected Estonia, along with the Just Transition Fund, with “numerous” proposals received for each.
In the first of these areas, the social field, a desire was expressed for better homes, both institutions and own dwellings, for the elderly and those with special needs, the ELVL’s deputy director, Jan Trei, said.
A series of themed seminars are on the table for February, the Finance Ministry says, with public consultation following in March and preparation work with partners coming in April.
The ELVL is a voluntary union established for representing the common interests and arranging co-operation of cities and rural municipalities. Ensuring development of local governments through joint activities is its main aim, the organization says.
European Structural and Investment Funds comprise five main Funds working together to support economic development across all EU countries, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The Just Transition Fund is the first pillar of the JEU’s Just Transition Mechanism (JTM), which aims towards transition to a climate-neutral economy happening in a fair manner. (ERR/Business World Magazine)