No. 42



“Estonia 2035”, Or a Strategic Comprehensive View for Steering the Development of the Country

09 December 2020


RiTo No. 42, 2020

The Government of the Republic initiated preparation of the strategy “Estonia 2035” on 8 March 2018. The General Part of “Estonia 2035” constitutes a strategic development document that pursuant to Article 20(1) of the State Budget Act has to be approved by the Riigikogu.

“Estonia 2035” is a strategy supporting the cooperation between the Riigikogu and the Government of the Republic in achieving the long-term objectives of Estonia. The Bill is ready to be sent to the Riigikogu.

Preparation of the strategy took place under the leadership of the Government Office and the Ministry of Finance. “Estonia 2035” has been completed as the result of a comprehensive co-creation process. All actors who wished to have a say in shaping the future of Estonia had the possibility to participate in preparation of the strategy. For that, several nationwide discussions and workshops were held, striving to ensure possibilities for participation to people living in different places in Estonia.

According to scientists, the long-term planning and governance of the country involves a collection of conceptions, activities, procedures, customs and practices that can be combined in various ways to enable different strategic approaches. The long-term development strategy of the country is not a future forecast, but a strategic comprehensive view for steering the development of the country. One should not expect linearity, effectiveness, accuracy and detailed distribution of resources from the strategic planning of the state, because in democratic countries, where the lines of power regularly change, such expectations simply are not realistic. Besides that, the Constitution says that the state authority is exercised solely pursuant to the Constitution and laws which are in conformity therewith, and not through strategic development documents.

Considering the present level of development of Estonia, the greatest challenges faced by the state and the changes around us, Estonia does not necessarily need ambitious indicators of result, but values-based strategic objectives. A democratic and safe country that is based on freedom, justice and legality, respects the principles of rule of law and social state, and where the Estonian nation, language and culture live and develop, is the foundation for reaching the objectives. In the course of preparation of the strategy, Estonia’s long-term strategic aims and policies were formulated, proceeding from future trends, development needs and possibilities of the state. The countries need forward-looking strategies in order to keep the objectives in mind, and plan and prepare in time for the changes that contribute to the development of the country and resolve the problem issues of society.

The strategy creates the framework and conditions for better organisation of the strategic and performance management of the state, including reducing the number of strategy documents and bureaucracy, participating in the economic coordination process of the European Semester and central integration of the UN sustainable development goals into the development documents of the country. In order to implement “Estonia 2035”, amendments in the decision-making processes of the Riigikogu and the Government of the Republic are necessary with the aim of connecting them more with the prospects of public finances and long-term development of Estonia.