Civic society and sustainable Estonia
If we compare the opportunities afforded by the Estonian Civic Society Development Concept (Estonian acronym – EKAK), approved by the Riigikogu in 2002, to the development strategy entitled Sustainable Estonia 21, approved three years later by the same body, it should not be overlooked that the implementing mechanisms are very different.
The Civic Society Development Concept stipulated what the Government and the Riigikogu, along with representatives of the civic associations, should do to implement it. On the other hand, the sustainable development strategy – which does not specify precise functions, timetable or cost – does not impose any obligations on anyone to deal with it further, in spite of the fact that it, too, received approval from the Riigikogu. Here there is a serious danger that Sustainable Estonia 21 will remain yet another strategy to be filed away on a shelf, predestined to fail. Estonia’s development will continue to be guided above all by short-term political agreements. Evidently the implementation of the strategy will require a totally different type of culture of governance than the one practiced in Estonia. It will require a truly knowledge-based type of state governance based on an extensive cooperative network between state structures, specialists and civic associations.