No. 3




Economic Co-operation in Estonia: A Civil Society Cannot Be Built without Citizens Who Have the Right of Ownership

  • Jaan Leetsar

    Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Co-operative Union

The article deals with problems related to the development of economic co-operation. The approximate calculations by the Estonian Co-operative Union indicate that 10-15 billion kroons worth of net profit is taken out of Estonia every year by transnational companies based on foreign capital, and as a rule this money is not reinvested.

A part of that money would remain in Estonia if more co-operatives and associations were formed. On the basis of the above-mentioned, the author finds that the development of co-operation must be endorsed at a state level (classes at school, applied research, regular publications etc.). It is especially important to promote the concept that co-operation is beneficial not only to members, but is of utmost socio-political significance in uniting the people and giving more substance to the independence of Estonia.

The author also refers to the Ancient Roman Law, where citizens were owners, and to the later classics of political economy, which developed the bourgeoisie market economy model that viewed citizens as subjects who participated in the market process of sales and exchange.

Full article in Estonian