Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) form an important part of the oversight system, holding governments accountable for the use of public funds.
|Toomas Hendrik Ilves|
|The Riigikogu Select Committee on Anti-Corruption Activities|
|Bernard Law Montgomery (1887–1976)|
|Anto Raukas, Professor|
|Toomas Hendrik Ilves|
|Tiia E. Tammeleht|
|Marek Meelis Puust|
|William H. Robinson|
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) form an important part of the oversight system, holding governments accountable for the use of public funds.
No one needs much convincing today in the value of public transport, and its existence is important in several aspects. However, while the trendy topic is whether public transport should be a free or a paid service, a lot of people (particularly in rural areas) are much more interested in having any sort of public transport services in their place of residence at all.
The article discusses the social isolation of Estonian men aged 60+ and their participation in community life which has been studied relatively little so far.
While the GDPR is generally efficient and necessary in its vigorous protection of the fundamental rights of self‑determination and identity of the European citizens, the article identifies a core issue that has gone unnoticed: the GDPR violates the EU treaties.It is basically a ‘European law’, yet European laws are banned under the TEU and the TFEU.
* Peer-reviewed article.
The Foresight Centre at the Parliament of Estonia is working on a scenario-project on the future of work. Four alternative development paths were developed for the Estonian labour market under the heading Tööturg 2035 (‘Labour market 2035’).
Throughout the ages, working has undergone great changes that have depended on the overall development of population and technology, as well as the economy and society. In modern welfare societies, the social protection system has taken shape alongside with the transformation of working.
Population censuses are the oldest statistics activities in human history. Their history goes back thousands of years. Researchers laid down the rules for modern population censuses at an international conference of statisticians more than 150 years ago. However, by now, these rules and frameworks have proved too narrow for the demographic development: it has become considerably more difficult to question people, because people value their privacy and do not wish to disclose their data.
This analysis discusses the challenges of NATO deterrence from the point of view of the Baltic States.
The Estonian government is setting its legal policy goals until the year 2030. There is a good case for including more systematic and effective procedures for preventing and combating domestic violence among these goals.
In recent years, regulatory and practical steps have been taken to increase the number of women serving in the Defence Forces.
* Peer-reviewed article.
In developed countries, productivity growth to a considerable extent depends on the export capabilities and investment patterns of companies.
Sustainable growth in the European transitional economies is based on the international competitiveness of companies and their position in the global value chain.
Using of the business ecosystem concept has grown drastically during the last five years. This concept describes the interaction between companies mutually and with other key actors of business on the basis of central attraction. Different approaches to business ecosystem focus on the creation of new companies and establishing suitable environment for them. The best-known example of business ecosystems is Silicon Valley (USA).
* Peer-reviewed article.
Changing and developing economy has influenced the way people use their knowledge and skills and earn their living. In longer perspective, this has meant the shift of labour force first into industry, and after that, into service. How has the labour market of Estonia developed after liberation from the Soviet Union?
The article discusses the assessment of the competitiveness of regions, and the simplified methods for performing this activity.
In the opinion of the National Audit Office, the centralisation of support services of state agencies has generally been successful, the quality of accounting has improved, and accounting has become more effective.
Today’s world is becoming increasingly computerised. Estonia is well-known as a country where the citizens’ communication with the state has been digitalised and many services have been taken online.
* Peer-reviewed article.
This article is the first analysis that quantitatively studies the adaptation of newly arrived immigrants in Estonia. The attitudes of newly arrived immigrants in regard to several issues relating to the life and society of Estonia are analysed, using the data of a large-scale study conducted among the newly arrived immigrants in spring 2017 as source material. 2850 respondents participated in the study conducted within the framework of the Estonian integration monitoring. A majority of them were the foreigners – citizens of the European Union and third country nationals – who had arrived in Estonia in 2012–2016.
The importance of the topic is related to counter-radicalization activity, and its effectiveness proven through scientific theories and practice. This topic is relatively new in Estonia and is lacking academic research so far.
Over the last 20 years, the European Union has been associated with the export of certain universal norms, rules and practices to other countries. In academic circles, this concept is called the „normative power Europe“. Democracy, rule of law, strong commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, and social justice – these principles form the core of the identity of the European Union. Based on shared political, economic and cultural ties among the Member States, the EU has also sought to promote these norms in the neighbouring countries, including Russia. However, the outbreak of a violent conflict between Russia and Ukraine at the end of 2013 clearly demonstrates that the EU has failed in its pursuits in Russia despite the extensive mutual relations and comprehensive financial support provided by the EU. As the EU has generally failed in bringing Russia over to embracing and upholding the European values, this raises the question of the authority of the EU as a normative power. Against this backdrop, the aim of the article is to analyse how consistent the EU has been in defending and promoting European values and norms in the international arena during the Ukrainian conflict. The topic is of particular importance for the EU Member States that are potentially targeted or indirectly influenced by Russia’s actions.
Estonian electoral system seems to be very stable when looking at the volatility of parliamentary elections. However, the individual voting behaviour indicates a different situation. The process behind the discrete vote in the parliamentary elections is far more complicated because voters differ in the level of political availability. Some voters are strong supporters of one specific political party and other parties probably do not have a chance to change their preferences. Other voters are more flexible in that matter and they are open to giving their vote to different parties at different elections. The latter is the main focus group for electoral competition because there is indeed a higher probability that they would change their voting preference.
* Peer-reviewed article.
The administrative-territorial reform of 2017 was the most thorough one ever in the history of the Republic of Estonia. The number of local municipalities decreased by nearly three times – from 213 to 79. As a result of that, 50 new local municipalities were formed which consisted of at least two, and in the most extreme case, seven, old local municipalities. Elections in the neighbouring countries of Estonia – specifically in Finland and Latvia – have shown that voter turnout tends to fall in merged local municipalities. In the debates before the elections, that was thought to happen in Estonia, too – the reason being the potential disappointment of the electorate when the state clearly prefers quantitative indicators when organising the administrative-territorial reform. In the Government’s opinion, a rural municipality or city with at least 5000 residents is a viable local municipality.
Young people running as candidates in (local) elections should be recognized and acknowledged as: an important type of political participation; a transition from a (largely) passive voter and bystander into an active participant in politics; an activity that is good in itself irrespective of its consequences and successes. Young candidates in elections are as important as young voters.
As a result of the administrative reform, in 2018, the number of local municipalities will decrease and bigger municipalities will presumably be better prepared to perform their functions. However, the municipalities will still need help with real estate maintenance in the future. The local municipalities own too many buildings and the floor plans of the buildings are inadequate. Over a half of these buildings are in a bad condition due to age and poor maintenance. In the new situation, the leaders of local municipalities have to decide which property is really needed by the locals and how to provide services as optimally as possible, so that the maintenance of superfluous and costly real estate wouldn’t become an objective in and of itself.
The present article analyses gender gaps in education in Estonia based on research papers and proposes several ways for dealing with it.
This article discusses the impact of social cleavages on the party system and its formation in the Baltic States, including Estonia. Dealing with social cleavages is the main issue in the sociological approach to party systems.
The objective of this analysis is to investigate research and development (R&D) and human capital as drivers of productivity growth in European regions. Productivity levels across countries and regions vary to a large degree and the discrepancies tend to persist over time. Moreover, differences in productivity account for a major part of per capita income disparities. Despite extensive economic and policy measures, substantial productivity gaps are still prevalent in the European Union (EU). The crucial challenge for researchers and policy-makers is to understand the causes of productivity gaps and to determine ways to escape low productivity.
In 2008, the Government of the Republic adopted the National Health Plan 2009–2020 (NHP), which has become the key document on health policy, integrating independent strategies for different fields. In 2016, the performance of the NHP was reviewed.
Sweden is well-known for its negotiations-focused political culture, but recent media coverage of the country often focuses on riots and disruptive protests. Does this mean that the country has changed? What are the political consequences of all these protests? This article uses data of the Swedish Protest Database and describes protest trends in Sweden during the last three decades. It also describes the consequences of one specific type of protest events – protests against school closures in Swedish municipalities.
Two main layers can be clearly defined in the participation of citizens in the public politics of Estonia. In the 1990s, the citizens’ initiatives in Estonia were structured by the post-colonial context that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. The main source of motivation was the division of a significant part of the society into “winners” and “losers” as a result of the restoration of the nation state, and the property reform.
Involving the public sector in the performance of public sector functions is a widespread practice. For example, in Estonia, there have been attempts to make use of the efficiency of the private sector in the collection of outstanding public claims (taxes, fines, environmental charges, claims arising from court judgments, penalty payments and interests). Generally, arrears are collected in enforcement procedure by bailiffs who are freelance as of 2001 and finance their activities from the fees collected from debtors.
The effectiveness and development of a university, but also an academic worker himself or herself depend on the interpretation of their role. The research conducted among the lecturers of the Estonian universities gave interesting results, on the basis of which the following recommendations can be given.
* The article is based on a study conducted at the University of Tartu: Vadi, M., Reino, A., Aidla, A. (2014). Student and Lecturer: Role Concept View. Data gathered with the support of Archimedes Foundation Primus Programme, financed by the European Social Fund.
The article gives an overview of the death culture of hunter-gatherers in Estonia in 6500–2600 BC. Combining the methods of archaeology, archaeothanatology and osteology, the archaeological burial sites that had been excavated decades ago were analysed. Unlike earlier analyses, the research focused on the dead body or its material remains (here: whole skeletons and separate human bones). Detailed archaethanatological description of them enables to reconstruct what the burial practices were like thousands of years ago. The primary identities of the dead were ascertained with the help of osteology and isotope studies of nutrition.
The legal policy has been a relatively unexplored field in the sociology of law studies.
Spring 2017 will mark three years since the international community imposed sanctions against Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine, in the hopes of ushering in a solution to the conflict. However, the conflict in Ukraine has persevered against all expectations, and the Cold War-like opposition between the West and Russia has deepened.
According to a number of studies, the availability of childcare places is an important factor that influences birth rate, employment and family planning.
In the context of the Estonian work capacity reform, we have seen a discussion on the need to establish an insurance system for work accidents and occupational diseases, with a view to motivate employers to improve the working environment.
This article is a contribution to the discussions pertaining to the Estonian administrative reform, analysing the issue from the urban planning point of view and making proposals as to how the administrative borders could be changed in urban sprawls. Based on the development of the urban region of Tartu in the context of theoretical urban models, discussed in depth in a Master’s thesis by Kertu Anni, the authors try to point out if and to what extent the general principles of urban planning should be taken into account when changing the administrative borders in urban regions in the course of the implementation of the administrative reform. We also discuss the reasonability of taking whole administrative units as “units” in the “merging and dividing”, and what the alternatives are. On the example of the urban region of Tartu, a more detailed insight is provided into what directions and to what extent the development of the city could go in the perspective of the next 30 years, and a theoretically suitable border solution. As a result, the authors identify the “third stage” (the first was the leasing of the manorial lands surrounding the city, and the second was the transfer thereof to the city) mechanism of extending the city lands in the more general context of Estonia.
* Peer-reviewed article.
The Praxis Centre for Policy Studies conducted a study in Estonian companies to establish the existence of data that describe diversity, to describe the diversity in the management boards of Estonian companies, and to evaluate the links between diversity and economic performance.
* Praxis study “Diversity in Estonian Enterprises” was a part of the Law School of Tallinn University of Technology project of promoting equal treatment.
In 2011–2014, a study of the role of regional higher education institutions in local development was conducted within the framework of research and innovation policy monitoring programme TIPS. The head of the work group was Garri Raagmaa, Associate Professor of the University of Tartu. The report analysed what role of the units of public universities that are located outside Tallinn and Tartu have in regional development, and gave recommendations on enhancing the regional innovation system and making better use of the potential of universities.
* Peer-reviewed article.
Women’s representation in the Riigikogu is low, flating at around 20%. Theoretically proven critical mass of women, which is also recommended by the United Nations, is 30%.
Skype Estonia together with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Tartu explored women’s role and potential in Estonia’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
In the nearest future, the ageing of population will make the policy shapers face the question: will the housing used by the aged correspond to their possibilities and needs in the future? If not, then should everyone solve their problem individually, or is it necessary to formulate a national housing policy supporting smart choices?
The article discusses the main models of curriculum and the outlets for training in general and higher education in Estonia and the EU.
During the last two decades, several important reforms have been carried out in the Estonian pension system.
**This article is a shortened Estonian version of an article in English: Võrk, A., Piirits, M., Jõgi, E. (2015). “The Impact of Introduction of Funded Pension Schemes on Intragenerational Inequality in Estonia: a Cohort Microsimulation Analysis”. Longer Estonian version can be read in the blog of Praxis Center for Policy Studies (http://mottehommik.praxis.ee/). The English version of the article is connected with the MOPACT (Mobilising Potential Active Aging) project, which was fianced from
Estonia has set itself the objective to achieve 80 percent of the average level of productivity of the EU by 2020. Although the increase of the productivity of Estonian labour force has been faster than the average in Europe, in recent years the growth rate has slowed down signifiantly and the achieving of this objective has become unlikely.
Collaboration between universities and businesses includes a variety of challenges, and one of these is internship. Internship involves a two-way knowledge exchange process whereby knowledge moves from one organisation to another and feedback is given constantly.
The development of society and technology creates new jobs and the need for specialists with new kind of competences. It means that the outdated, lecture-based traditional teaching methods that rely on theoretical models are not suitable for acquiring the competences that will be needed in the future.
The article discusses the context, underlying frameworks and mechanisms in designing migration policy. The focus is on the possibilities for steering legal migration based on generalised international experience. Also, some potential challenges for Estonian immigration policy are discussed.
Increased international mobility of the labour force is a regular process that we should adapt to and handle within the common international rules in a way that would allow Estonia to achieve win-win results from the cross-border movement of labour force.
One of the preconditions for effiient offiials is relevant and objective evaluation of capability (and also capability shortfalls), and ensuring purposeful training and coaching on the basis of this. The forthcoming EU presidency of Estonia in 2018 enhances the need for effiient offiials even more, therefore it is necessary that during the years preceding the EU presidency, the existing capability shortfalls of the offiials connected with the EU are ascertained, and they are provided the training they need. The purpose of the article is to analyse how the evaluation of the EU-related capabilities and knowledge of the Estonian offiials has been conducted since 2002, and what have been the main lessons.
The article analyses the legal treatment and legal regulation of domestic violence. Domestic violence is rampant in Estonia, yet the police is not notifid of every case, even the most brutal ones; and even in the reported cases, only a small percentage leads to a guilty verdict.
The article deals with the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Estonia Report and the analysis of the Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI) that focus on promoting the development of innovative enterprises with growth ambitions and increasing their share in total entrepreneurial activity. The article discusses what are the obstacles to development of such enterprises today, and also what are the possibilities for supporting their growth while taking into consideration different entrepreneurial aspirations.
E-voting may potentially lower participation thresholds and increase turnout, but its technical complexity may pose other barriers to participation.
Besides the Estonians, people of several other nationalities have lived on the territory of Estonia throughout its history. They have come and gone, and often these comings and goings have been violent and bloody, but in spite of everything the native people here, whose number in some periods has dwindled rather low, have preserved their own language and are an independent nation today.
The purpose of this article is to explore the socio-material factors reproducing different modes of involvement and shed some light on the prospects of their future development.
According to the public sphere conception of Habermas, communicative action is necessary for successful functioning of society. This article analyses the media sphere of Estonia, which is divided into two separate parts of information space by language – the Estonian-language media and the Russian-language media. The article claims that one reason why such a situation has emerged is the media policy of the Republic of Estonia. But its historical roots go deeper than the second independence period. In order to understand the Estonian media of today and to plan activities directed towards the future, it is necessary to analyse the steps and choices that have brought us to our present situation.
The idea of creating a Russian-language media competence centre that would mainly have the function of mediating the life in Estonia and in Europe in the widest meaning of this concept to the Russian-speaking target group is discussed more and more in Estonia.
A partial transfer to Estonian as the language of instruction in Russian-medium upper secondary schools in Estonia started in the early 1990s and culminated in 2010.
During recent years, awareness of entrepreneurship as a source of social activeness and precondition for economic welfare in the global economic competition has increased in the Estonian society.
* Peer reviewed research paper.
One of the requirements set by the European Union for the current EU Structural Funds period (2014–2020) is the existence of smart specialisation strategies in the states and regions that use the structural funds. The article discusses smart specialisation as one of the instruments for shaping and managing the research, development and innovation (RDI) policy.
Creative industries and their development have interested the policy shapers for more than twenty years. In spite of the fast international spreading of the concept of creative economy and creative economy policies, it cannot be said that the discussions, especially among the theoreticians, about the definition and contents of creative economy have grown lesser.
* Peer reviewed research paper.
International comparative studies mostly define Estonian economic model as free market economy.
The goal of the article is to examine the challenges and dangers involved in performance-based budgeting and to make recommendations on how to proceed with the performance budgeting reform in Estonia.
* Peer reviewed research paper.
This article argues that human rights should not depend on one’s sexual orientation, and that a hetereonormative legal system marginalises people by treating them as objects of state power.
Outcomes of research and development activities and innovation in the business sector of a state are shaped through a complicated, often contradictory process under the influence of various fields of innovation policy.
*The article has been written with the support of the targeted financing project No TMJJV 0037 of the Ministry of Education and Research "Path Dependence Model of Developing and Implementing the Innovation System of a Small Country".
PRAXIS Centre for Policy Studies conducted a study to see whether Estonian private sector employers consider the competence of the employees who have graduated from vocational education in recent years to be of the required level, and what are their expectations of the vocational education system. The study combined qualitative and quantitative methods; among other things, a survey was conducted among more than 400 businesses that had employed staff with vocational education.
The author has concentrated on two significant changes in the life of a young person: the transfer from the education system to the labour market, and becoming a parent instead of being someone’s child.
The article treats the economic and moral rights of the author on works created in execution of duties of employment. Examples are given from a short study on copyright carried out among the regular and visiting lecturers of the Police and Border Guard College of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences.
Detection, prevention and elimination of security risks in the society depend on the capability of internal security leaders. The article analyses the needs for professional development and support services for the leaders, based on the results of the project „Creation and Implementation of Sustainable Development Support for Top and Middle Managers of Internal Security Agencies”.
* The article has been written within the framework of the research, development and creative activities programme of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, and reflects the personal positions of the authors.
The purpose of the article is to show how the choice of school on the basis of market principles causes the segregation of pupils into the so-called „good schools” and „not so good schools” on the basis of the background characteristics and strategic behaviour of their parents.
The article analyses the level and dynamics of the supply and spending of resources of the research and development policy in the EU Member States and in states closely associated with the EU. The role of research and development policy in the innovation systems of the states is compared. The research systematised theoretical treatments, analysed the problems highlighted in empirical studies and assessed the international position of the implementation of Estonian research and development policy on the basis of the empirical analysis of the data collected in the EU and the states closely associated with the EU.
The article examines the choices that influenced the emergence of the military institution of Estonia.
The article deals with the representation of ethnic minorities in the governance of Estonia. The representation of ethnic minorities among the officials of ministries deceased abruptly in the beginning of the 1990s during the initial period after the restoration of independence, and has been decreasing ever since. Immediately after the restoration of independence, about two-thirds of the officials were non-Estonians, now they form around 2–3 per cent.
While promoting free competition is inarguably an important tool for ensuring the effective functioning of markets, state regulations may sometimes still be justified and necessary due to market failures. Thus, it is essential to strike an appropriate balance between free competition and regulations. Such balance depends largely on the overall purpose the competition or the regulations are meant to achieve.
Since the 1990s, the population of Estonia has decreased. The largest decrease – around 200,000 people – took place between the censuses of 1989 and 2000; three fourths of it consisted of negative net migration. Not all cases of emigration were registered and, as a result of that, several tens of thousands of people who have left long ago are still in the population register of Estonia as permanent residents. At the census of 2000, the number of people counted was smaller than expected by about 60,000. Part of them had emigrated and not registered it; others were persons who remained uncounted, according to estimation, there were at least 20,000 of them.
In the author’s opinion, the current events in Estonia do not express the model of classical parliamentarism or the constitutional principle of the separation of powers, but function according to a corporative partocratic model of power.
This article is based on the author’s MA thesis defended at the Institute of Journalism and Communication of the University of Tartu and observes the users’ general expectations for the social media sites of government establishments.
Direct democracy is closely connected to the principle of national sovereignty. The latter emphasizes first of all the people as the bearers and the source of state power: the right to organise the political power and to approve of its structure belongs to the people, and has to arise from the legitimization and will of the people.
*Peer reviewed research paper.
The idea of innovation-based public procurements is mostly based on the belief that the public sector that is active in the market and that has a great purchase capability can influence the market participants through demand.
*Peer reviewed research paper.
2012 is the year of social innovation in the European Union. With this, we try to draw attention to the importance of innovations that initiate from the „grassroots” as well as to such aspects of implementation of „top-down” reforms and political changes that have remained in the shadows until now.
Major crises like nuclear accidents, terrorist attacks, food poisonings or even banking crises have provoked large-scale societal responses in Europe and world-wide. This article discusses the key explanations for public responses to risks, and the ways in which understanding of risks shapes individual and state-level decision-making.
All uncollected public financial claims – tax claims or fines – have an impact on the state budget and on the amount and quality of public services and goods provided by the state. So far the state has not established a single functioning central system for collecting its claims, public claims have no owner, and the collection process is characterised by fragmentation and institution-based logics.
The solving of drug problems faced by the police is very complicated; it requires the cooperation of people with different backgrounds and cultures.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the European social model it is important that an increasingly larger part of the working-age population, especially women with caring responsibilities, participated in the labour market and that they did so for a longer period than before.
The article characterizes the opinions prevailing in the society on equality of possibilities for acquiring education.
Praxis Center for Policy Studies has been conducting the studies of development trends of small and medium sized enterprises every third year since 2002.
The existing models of public service organisation are not really suitable any more for analysing modern teacher education. The pressure on productivity and effectiveness caused by globalisation blurs the specifics of career and position systems, and makes the issues connected with teachers as the key factor influencing the results of education much more complicated. Thus the issue of teacher education is not just a pedagogical issue, but also requires strategic political choices.
The aim of health system – longer life and more healthy life years – can be achieved in cooperation between different levels of health care.
This year’s population census and several initiatives have brought the people who have left Estonia after the restoration of independence to public attention.
One forms of authoritarian government bears a more colourful name than others – Sultanism.
The percentage of private member’s bills (PMB) in overall legislation in parliamentary systems tends to be small.
Innovation policy is essential for ensuring a country’s development and continuous enhancement of innovation performance.
*Peer-reviewed article. The research was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund through the Research and Innovation Policy Monitoring Programme.
The article focuses on the labour demand in the Estonian energy sector in a 10-year perspective.
*Peer-reviewed research paper.
On 21 June 2011, the general assembly of the Supreme Court of Estonia in Case No. 3-4-1-16-10 declared the institution of post-sentence detention, established for dealing with dangerous repeat offenders, to be unconstitutional. The purpose of the article is to draft possible answers to the question “How will the problem of habitual criminals that are dangerous to the society be dealt with in the future?”
This article discusses the fundamental principles of the Estonian Constitution from the viewpoint of the jurisprudence and legal literature of the Supreme Court of Estonia.
* The paper is based on the introductory article of the author’s book “Põhiõigused, demokraatia, õigusriik” (”Fundamental Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law”, 2011) and reflects the personal views of the author
The article is based on the master’s thesis on the Council of Europe Convention on Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health and related legal aspects.
The European Parliament Resolution adopted in November 2010 emphasises that in order to provide modern technologies and services to the wider public, the Member States must allocate appropriate funding to public service media.
*The article is based on the author’s doctoral thesis “EU media policy and survival of public service broadcasting in Estonia 1994–2010”, which was defended at the University of Tartu. – http://dspace.utlib.ee/dspace/bitstream/handle/10062/17927/joesaar_andres.pdf?sequence=1
Twice, in 2006 and in 2009, the Estonian education system has been assessed according to the comparative evaluation of the school pupils’ scholastic performance PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), coordinated by the Organisation of Economic Coopera-tion and Development (OECD).
In Estonia people have many possibilities to take part in the political processes but they must have thorough knowledge and much free time for that.
The article discusses the implementation of better regulation principles in internal security policy on the basis of the results of the content analysis of draft legislation and strategic policy documents and the e-survey of officials.
*Peer-reviewed research paper.
The gender wage gap influences all members of the society in one way or another.
For those who strive for gender equality in politics, the Riigikogu elections of 2011 were a disappointment because, in comparison to previous elections, the percentage of women among candidates and those elected decreased.
The purpose of the article is to assess the bases of Estonia’s economic policy within the context of economic crisis and the development of gross wage in general and by areas of activity before and during the crisis.
Since mid-1990s, Estonia has experienced a successful process of integration to the global economy.
*The statistical data of the article is as of 20 May 2011.
There are increasingly less countries in Europe where prisoners are automatically deprived of the right to vote by law, as is the case in Estonia.
The security sector is often mistakenly considered only the Government’s playground while actually the parliament as the representative body of the nation has an important role in handling security issues.
Since its creation the police has undergone significant changes.
The Court of Justice has interpreted the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (data protection directive) in seven decisions made on the basis of references for preliminary ruling and applied the directive in three cases that reached the Court as a result of complaints.
Researchers have stated that Estonia lacks a definite family policy vision and resources which would enable the state to create a coherent and supporting family policy.
This article intends to evaluate the extent of revenue autonomy of local governments in Estonia and to offer opportunities to increase it. In order to effectively perform the duties assigned to them by law, local governments need to have adequate revenues. The authority which local governments have in determining the level and structure of their expenditures is highly dependent on the nature of their revenue sources. Revenue autonomy and accountability of local governments are best guaranteed through municipalities’ own revenues, i.e. local taxes, user charges and revenues from local property.
*Peer-reviewed research paper.
The article focuses on the local government reform in Estonia that was prepared since the middle of the 1930s and carried out at the end of that decade.
It is not the lack of policies or analyses that prevents the changes in the Estonian local government system to be carried out.
The article introduces the story of the development and the basic concepts of quality and the quality management, and the standard systems DIN and ISO.
One achievement of the last decade is the clearly acknowledged need to make the economy of the world and of every country more environment friendly, more sustainable in terms of energy and raw materials – this means, greener.
Mass media continues to play an increasing role in politics while the importance of the party membership takes the back seat, because the media offers a much quicker way to reach the voters than can be done by campaigning through party members.
Political parties operating at European level enable to control supranational power in Europe. Thus the political parties operating at European level contribute to shaping policies.
In August 2010 the Estonian National Youth Council conducted an online study among 15–30 year olds to find out how young people rate their access to labour market and career information and social services, how probable they consider landing the desired job, the importance they attach to informal studies and work practice in finding a job and in combining work and studies.
The article discusses the potential of general education as a developer of the coherence of the Estonian society and as a shaper of national identity on the basis of the subjects of mother tongue, literature, music, history and civic education.
This article discusses the meaning and relevance of ‘open innovation’ for Estonian entrepreneurs and policy-makers.
* Peer-reviewed research paper.
The article discusses the question of whether direct democracy (for example, a referendum) is a better resolution to certain legislative drafting issues than representative democracy, and that first of all from the aspect of the legitimacy of legislative drafting.
The article explains natural and private legal persons’ judicial and non-judicial remedies for breaches of EU law.
The authors state that, unlike the high parental benefit, child benefits paid to families in Estonia are very low.
The recently launched report “Responding to the challenge of financial sustainability in Estonia’s health system” (authors Sarah Thomson, Andres Võrk, Triin Habicht, Liis Rooväli, Tamàs Evetovits, Jarno Habicht) assesses the current performance of health system, the health financing policy and its financial sustainability.
Several local government reforms have taken place in Western countries since 1945. One of the reasons for reforms has been the concept that economic efficiency is related to the size of local government.
The article discusses whether, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, Eesti Pank may issue legislation of general application mandatory to third persons, that is, the right of Eesti Pank to issue Regulations.
For some time already, the foreign policy of Estonia has been looking for a new goal to strive towards and to engage in. Among other things, a proposal has been made to cooperate more with the Nordic and Baltic countries or all Baltic Sea states because cooperation should be simple and successful in that region already thanks to the similar history and good relations.
What the education system of a state is like and how it is managed, depends on the ideology adopted in the society and the ability to make professional decisions.
Section 37 of the Estonian Constitution provides the right to education without tuition fee in state and local government general education schools. It is an important fundamental right of an individual but its substantial essence tends to receive little attention in everyday political and social discussions.
In most cases, tax compliance is analyzed using economic models and relevant economic interpretations.
As the fundamental principles of the Constitution have a regulatory effect – they are binding – the need for finding them is undisputed.
The amendments made to the French Constitution in July 2008, consisting of a modernisation of the state institutions, are probably the most fundamental ever to have taken place in France during the Fifth Republic – that is, since the current French Constitution of 1958 was adopted – because of the unprecedented number (47 articles have been either added or modified) and scope of the amendments.
Every country has a sovereign right to shape its own immigration policy. Each country has to decide which aliens it allows on its territory and for what reason. By joining international organizations and entering into foreign treaties, under which the state assumes obligations toward individuals, a country places restrictions on its sovereign right to decide its immigration policy.
The article analyzes 30 local government development plans in Estonia.
This article provides an analysis of the development of Estonia’s system of local government up to the current time.
Adult education has been defined as one of the key components in raising the competitiveness of the economic environment of the European Union at the general and national level.
The basis of the article is an overview, written during the time the author was working in the law and analysis department of the Riigikogu Chancellery, of the involvement of NGOs and associations of companies in the writing of draft legislation on Riigikogu committees.
The article treats the status and development of internal audits in Estonia on the basis of assessments by practitioners and compares the process to that of other European countries, above all the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland. The article relies on research conducted in autumn 2006 by an international working group of researchers and funded by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, entitled The Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK 2006), as well as on the data from the CBOK Europe study. A selection was made from the significant aspects of internal audits.
A study conducted among officials confirms that knowledge of the influence, interests and coalition readiness of European Union Member States is one of the primary success factors for representation of Estonia’s interests in Europe.
The main objective of the article is to identify untapped potential for shaping Estonia’s higher educational policy offered by databases of research studies in the Estonian Research Information System ETIS and the Estonian Social Science Data Archive (ESSDA).
Regional disparities in economic development cause problems for a country as a whole, and thus governments try to reduce the discrepancies by using public sector policy and programmes. The success of such programmes requires an adequate assessment of the differences in regional development.
Estonia’s internal market is small and for this reason, the primary source of Estonian economic growth is export – meaning sales success in the world’s marketplace.
The deregulated labour market became a new solution in the 1990s for reducing unemployment and offering a more efficient way for employers to cope with economic cycles.
Regulatory analyses of the content of explanatory memoranda to draft legislation show to what extent Estonian ministers and ministry officials are able to implement principles of knowledge-based policy and Better Regulation in legislation that impacts the lives and jobs of Estonians.
Although analysis of the impacts of legal acts has been discussed and written about in Estonia for years, the discussion to this point has not had a significant effect on legislative drafting practice, as the discussion on this topic has not met with the necessary political attention and support.
Estonia has justified the need to establish an upper limit for election campaigns by arguing that campaign expenses have got out of hand as well as with the need to restore politics to the level of ideas and platforms, not a competition between ad agencies.
As of spring 2009, the European Court of Human Rights had issued 18 substantive court decisions regarding cases originating in Estonia.
The article analyzes parental benefits, which were established in Estonia in 2004, and their possible effect on family planning decisions and employment of women.
The authors state that the palette of political styles incited by core values in Estonian politics is variegated and does not stand in the way of further development.
E-learning has been high on the political agenda in Estonia for more than ten years due to unusual consensus on the issue amongst political parties.
As a whole, the structure of the islands’ economy is often one-sided and very vulnerable, the level of the working population’s skills is lower and there is less innovation than in other regions, the range of public services is limited and the price level is higher.
In transition countries such as Estonia, solely the vaunted open economy and foreign investments do not automatically engender a broader transformation of industrial structure from mass production toward greater knowledge and skills.
The article gives an overview of the academic results of students at Estonian general educational institutions in comparison with international results, and describes the risks posed to Estonian general education.
A number of Estonian political forces have recently expressed the position that the public (“people”, “citizens” etc) must take greater part in political decision-making processes on both the state and local government level.
The author notes that the latest research confirms the previous assessments of experts: the prevailing form of criminal collaboration is a network of personal relationships that criminals successfully use to commit crimes.
The current scheme for calculating parental benefits for working parents is poor, as it creates situations where the benefits may become reduced by several thousand kroons if the beneficiary earns only one extra kroon. The problem becomes deeper as wages and benefits increase.
There is extremely little information in Estonia’s cultural sphere regarding both the content of the political culture and the characteristic traits of political culture in Estonia.
The current stabilization or even decline in party membership indicates the end of a mass party era.
Considering the social momentousness of the issues dealt with in the new Family Law Bill that has been introduced in the Riigikogu, the Chancellery of the Riigikogu commissioned an analysis of the social implications of the Family Law Bill from the expert group at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Sociology and Social Policy.
The Estonian School of Diplomacy was commissioned by the Riigikogu to conduct a survey on Estonia’s representation and participation in the working groups of the European Union’s Council of Ministers.
Instead of viewing the modern state and the constitutional state from an abstract point of view, the author grounds his approach on legal dogmatics and legal principles.
On the order of the Estonian Development Fund, a work group set up at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in the second half of 2007 investigated the international competitiveness of the Estonian economy and the prospects for its development in a longer, 5-10-year perspective.
This article, which uses the “Relocation of production in labour-demanding branches of industry” survey conducted within the framework of the EU Framework Programme VI as a source, reflects on the factors which guide international companies in the globalisation process with respect to activities based predominantly on private property and profit-seeking.
The purpose of this article is to pinpoint the central problems faced by the Estonian economy in the medium to long perspective. Since 1999, Estonian companies and the government have considered it their primary goal to reduce public sector expenses as a proportion of the gross domestic output.
The article focuses on the measures for implementation of the EU directives 2004/17EC and 2004/18/EC, the Public Procurement Act of the Republic of Estonia and the Estonian environment-friendly and sustainable public procurement priorities 2007-2009, the implementation of which requires that the state and local government authorities have interdisciplinary knowledge of sustainable consumption, production and public procurement options as well as leadership capability.
According to several institutions, the public procurement area has quite a few problems.
A new draft Employment Contracts Act has been prepared in Estonia.
Encounters between citizens and the police mostly revolve around punishment for misdemeanours.
*The article is based on the report delivered at the meeting of the Estonian Academic Law Society on 16 April 2008 in Tartu.
The structure of the Estonian local government is kept as simple as possible: municipality and city, with municipality district and city district on the lower level.
In many cases, local governments have not been able to act according to the needs and interests of municipal residents and in adherence to the principles of local government.
The main empirical goal of the article is to explain how communication of government authorities and their associated groups in legislative drafting affects legislative process before the bill reaches the Parliament, and achievement of the legitimacy of the draft act.
Foreign policy theory describes and explains the foreign-policy decision-making process – how decisions are reached and carried out. Decision-making mechanisms are ordinarily depicted and analyzed with the help of a rational and bureaucratic model.
Tax morals – in the sense of the readiness of an individual to pay taxes in the extent required – is an important foundation of tax obedience and is influenced by many factors.
The Riigikogu and the Government of the Republic face a serious task – influencing the factors impeding the implementation of innovation policy.
The Internet is in its democratic ideal form a tool for enhancing citizens´ participation in political life. For participation in local politics and life, citizens can read or send comments in different forums operated by local municipalities and local newspapers.
In analyzing the objectives of draft legislation tabled by members of parliament, it has been noted that they are often introduced for ulterior objectives, not out of a desire to make a contribution to the legislation.
Drawing on her familiarity with practices in different countries, the author raises the question of whether it would be expedient for Estonia to abandon the requirement that a member of parliament may not simultaneously hold a minister´s post and vice versa.
The Riigikogu passed the Environmental Liability Act. The Act does not regulate all liability for environmental matters or compensation of all damage done to the entire environment. This article deals with the so-called borderline areas of the Act: what sort of liability the legislation governs and what kind it does not, what is covered by the definition of environmental damage, and why a certain part of the environment was omitted from the Act.
A look at Estonian legal practice often leaves the impression that we have not yet acceded to the European Union, as Estonian law is the only kind which is known and applied, even if Estonian law is in direct conflict with the law of the Community. A good example of such a conflict is the recent incident of logging in Suurupi, where it appeared that Estonian law did not provide for a way to prohibit the logging, but where from the standpoint of European law a prohibition was obvious as this was a Natura “preselection” area.
Oil shale is a strategic natural asset for Estonia which ensures independence for the state in the field of energy.
The article aims to analyze the change in the role of Eesti Pank that will occur after the transition from the kroon to the euro.
Estonia’s innovation policy was designed to be centred on the state, but the state has not been a very active leader. It can even be argued that the state has abandoned its leadership role.
The necessary tax base for ensuring quality public services and the inseparably connected issue of income tax revenue are among the key problems of Estonian local governments.
The purpose of the article is to analyze the social welfare system in the light of general system theory.
Estonian legislation prescribes special pensions for the following categories of officials: police officials, military officials, border guards, judges, prosecutors, chancellor of justice, officials of the state audit and the President.
The article analyzes the role of cash benefits and tax concessions for families with children in reducing poverty in Estonia.
In the run-up to NATO accession there was consensus among political parties when it came to Estonian foreign and security policy. Now that Estonia is a member of the organization, however, political discussion has arisen concerning the various alternatives and opportunities for guaranteeing national security.
Coalition parties in the Estonian parliament have been accused on numerous occasions of using so-called steamroller tactics to push through their bills or amendments while pushing aside the bills or amendments of opposition parties without any debate. The aim of this article is to provide an assessment of whether steamroller tactics have actually been used in the Estonian parliament.
In 2005–2006 a study commissioned by the State Chancellery was conducted in Estonia, entitled “Roles and attitudes in public service”.
Since the end of the Cold War, cooperation has made a comeback in Europe, and in the field of population, cooperation between states has been taking place already for more than 15 years.
During recent years the necessity of reducing administrative burdens has been high on the agenda as one topic of the Lisbon Strategy.
Despite impressive economic growth rates (since 1994, GDP has doubled in real terms), and like many other transition economies, for many years Estonia has experienced jobless or even job loss growth. Employment declined between 1994 and 2005 from 675,000 to 602,000. This job loss partly reflects closure of many enterprises, as well as “defensive restructuring” by enterprises, a process in which redundant labour is shed in order to increase productivity, the gains from which are then translated into higher wages rather than higher employment.
*The views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinions of the author, and may not coincide with the official positions of the World Bank.
The departure of workforce abroad has been described in Estonia as the biggest problem faced by the health care sector.
Parliament is a central institution in representative democracy. But are the members of parliament themselves central to the functioning of the institutions or are they merely vehicles for the will of someone else (party)?
Innovation in the area of information technology makes it possible to use telework (telecommuting) as an integral part of organization of work in Estonian public agencies.
The article reconstructs the policy-making process of two Estonian legal acts: the Government of the Republic Act and the Local Government Act, which were made 1992–1994.
The role and position of minister's adviser in Estonian politics and civil service system is a topic that has received little attention so far.
Once again, Estonia was not able to elect a new president in the Riigikogu.
*The author thanks Rein Taagpera for his comments to the earlier version of the article.
*Marquis de Condorcet was an 18th century French scientist, one of the first to apply mathematics in the social sciences.
What are the institutional preconditions for a knowledge-based and sustainable public policy?
The article views the various scenarios for the future of the European Union as seen by a small member state such as Estonia.
The debate over Estonia's eastern border – in particular the possibility and need to encode it in legislation, based on the existing de facto boundary line – has lasted for practically the entire period of the regained independence among both politicians and the public, including the media.
The article treats current research conducted by the University of Tartu Department of Political Science. The focus of the article lies on the defining of foreign policy ideology of the Estonian political parties in the Estonian parliament Riigikogu (Centre Party, People's Party, Pro Patria, Reform Party, Res Publica, Social Democratic Party).
Russian organized crime was created by the shadow economy and the criminal subculture.
Democratic societies are built on trust. The 47% turnout at the last local elections shows that the trust between electors and elected necessary for successful action is lacking. The perceived trustworthiness of the current Riigikogu will determine how great a share of the citizenry makes the effort in a year's time to go to the polls and elect the next, ninth membership of the Riigikogu.
It may seem that members of parliament and sociologists live in different worlds. This is confirmed by an expert survey conducted among Riigikogu members and social scientists as part of the project “Democracy and national interests”, financed by the Open Estonia Foundation.
The article treats the participation of European youth aged 15 to 25 in protest actions that may include violence. Estonian, Finnish and French youth are the main subjects. The article is based on the consideration that participation in protest actions is influenced by views as well as social standing. The tendency to protest was measured using a consolidated index made up of six indicators: participation in illegal demonstrations, run-ins with the police, run-ins with opponents, damage to property, occupying of buildings and facilities, and traffic blocking. The empirical analysis took place in the framework of the EUYOUPART project on the basis of data gathered in December 2004. The correlations were evaluated using the Spearman correlation coefficient.
Most efforts to conceptualize power have approached the concept by either attempting to define the term or listing its bases and sources. The concept of power still engenders a lot of controversy, as scholarly works argue for and against various definitions, forms, and uses of power.
The article presents an overview of natural gas reserves, production volumes and dependence on imports, the use of gas and the gas pipeline network in the Baltics and new projects in the Baltic Sea region.
Ensuring internal security is a field where much depends on cooperation between various agencies.
Information shortage is a common problem in crisis situations and is especially heightened in the context of time pressure.
The Estonian civil service system has been in the process of reform since Estonia regained its independence in 1991.
The emergence of cities 100-150 years ago raised social and economic issues among which city management, especially its expedient decentralisation by means of city districts, occupies a prominent place. In the Republic of Estonia, city districts were established in the 1930s.
In the course of the reforms of the period of restoration of independence and transition to a market economy, Estonia developed different attitudes toward the real estate necessary for performing state functions. Residential units were overwhelmingly privatized and housing problems were left to the market to resolve; real estate for production and service went into the ownership of companies, in which the state may hold a share; institutions that provided public services (universities, hospitals, museums) went to foundations, companies and persons under public law, which the state contracts for services; the legislation adopted by the Riigikogu and long-term activity plans form the basis for developing state forests and roads.
The article analyzes Estonia's current and prospective employee involvement systems on the background of other European Union states.
Current evidence suggests a deteriorating working environment in the new member states of Central and Eastern Europe.
Upon becoming a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, most countries face the need to adopt implementing legislation. This is due to the so-called principle of complementarity, which tacitly presumes that States are able to prosecute the same crimes at the ICC, and also because legislation might be necessary for the State to cooperate with the Court. In Estonia, the relevant provisions are contained in the fairly new and modern Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. The article at hand outlines some of the problems that still remain in Estonian law with regard to the ICC.
The right of workers to strike is one of the elements of freedom of association and is inseparably tied to the right to collective bargaining.
Estonia has reached a stage of development in its legislative drafting where the laws for all the important walks of life appear to already have been adopted, several major legal acts being on the second time around.
Volatility indexes most often deal with the problems of democratic development and the stabilization of party systems.
Estonian innovation policy has primarily been aimed at commercialization of science and knowledge at scientific institutions: high technology.
Since mass layoffs are a fairly new concept in Estonia's regulation of working relations, we do not yet have practical experiences in this field.
Issues related to the funding of general education are very much the subject of debate not only in Estonia, but all over the world.
The opportunities of the system of local government financing currently used in Estonia have been exhausted.
The article provides an overview of one aspect of the project Political Participation of Young People in Europe (EUYOUPART) – the equivalency of data from international survey polls.
The role of environmental taxes and fees is small in Estonia compared to the member states of the European Union, and as a result, the influence on economic players is also small and does not motivate the latter to act in more conservationist fashion.
The article focuses on the relations between the legislative and executive powers in Estonia against the background of EU membership.
The aim of the article is to give a brief overview of the changes the CCEEs that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 made in their parliamentary EU scrutiny mechanisms. Most of these countries have opted for the so-called “Nordic Model” which means a strong parliamentary involvement in EU decision-making process.
This May and June, the topics related to the Riigikogu's legislative activity that received the most media attention were e-voting, the ban on outdoor advertisements and ratification of the Estonian-Russian border treaty.
The share of e-mail in conveying information for official use has increased from year to year.
The primary goal of the government of Great Britain is to give everyone the opportunity to escape the clutches of poverty and social exclusion, and a long-term antipoverty strategy has been designed.
The main aims of Baltic cooperation in the years 1918–1940 and 1989–1991 were to establish a union engaged in security and foreign policy matters. During the first period, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark were viewed as partners in addition to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since 1989, only the three Baltic countries are included in the cooperation.
Concern over the unequal level of schools has become greater in recent years and affects both parents and politicians.
Estonian education faces four possible paths: to continue with the curriculum adopted in 2002 (RÕK 2002); to use the general part of the curriculum prepared by the University of Tartu curriculum development centre as a basis; to use as a basis the general part of the curriculum prepared by Bit/Avita; or to adapt the curriculum of the Republic of Finland.
Based on Estonia's demographic situation and considering the characteristics of regional development, a network of schools must be formed in a balanced manner as well as in a way that is informative and engaging for all interested parties.
One of the responsibilities of the state in fostering participatory democracy includes involving interest groups in regulatory and decision-making processes on broader terms.
The answer to the question whether in the future, European citizenship will serve only to supplement the set of civic rights in each member states, or be a first step in establishing world citizenship, will be provided by a Europe-wide debate in which Estonia is also a participant.
Considering the important social functions played by agriculture, which besides ensuring population density and jobs in the countryside, ensures the self-sufficiency of food production, the importance of agriculture should be much greater than it is currently.
The tax policy that Estonia has to date followed – creating a climate favorable to the private sector and motivating employees – has been criticized as well as praised, the latter on the international level.
Eurobarometer studies – public opinion surveys conducted in European Union member states and candidate countries – have been organized for over thirty years. Eurobarometer encompasses various types of studies which are designed based on the need to gather information from various target groups of varying response times and comprehensiveness.
Propaganda began to be studied on a theoretical level after World War I.
In the general sense, dissenting opinions can differ from majority opinions in terms of justification, or justification and conclusions.
This year, the 57th World Health Care Congress adopted a resolution on international migration calling on countries to ameliorate the negative impacts of migration of health care workers, especially in developing countries.
With the enlargement of the European Union, immigration of doctors and other health care workers is under increased attention.
The process of creating regulations or secondary legislation has not been analyzed extensively, even though a large part of our daily lives is regulated by such acts and the amount of secondary legislation is continually on the rise.
Estonia's social policy was shaped in cooperation with the Nordic countries and the Phare project.
Even though the stability of governments has been under the lens of political scientists for a long time, only in recent times have the changes occurring within a government received attention.
This article treats the selection of candidates in six Estonian parliamentary parties in two election periods from 1999-2003 in order to evaluate how democratic the selection was and the changes in the process.
An analysis of Estonian elderly policy from the standpoint of sustainability shows that the Estonian pension system is not socially or financially sustainable, since it does not ensure pensioner well-being.
Despite the high incidence of offenses and sentencing to secure units in Estonia, there has been very little research on youth offenders, of either the factors associated with offending or systematic study of how convicted young offenders may differ from other young people living in the community.
An essential basis of identification has disappeared for many Russian-speakers of Estonia along with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The parliament embodies the state's highest authority - the representation of the Estonian people. Thus one of the most important criteria for the Riigikogu's activity is its trustworthiness in the public eye.
As a new member of the EU, it is natural that Estonian civil servants are only still learning to discern the nuances of the European Union's decision-making process and are amassing experience and contacts.
The article is based on the findings of the study on compliance of the Estonian pension system with the 11 common pension objectives of the European Union. The study was commissioned by the Government Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia and carried out by the expert team of the PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies.
The current article examines the attitude of municipalities to the changes made to the state investment program that took place after the "Procedure of Composing the State Investment Program" of 2000 entered into force.
Cybercrime as a subset of crime is frequently tied to other types of crime such as copyright violations, crimes against property (computer swindles), crimes against persons (child pornography) and the like.
The aim of the study is to examine the consequences of the size of a state with regard to the Europeanization of the Estonian public administration.
The politicization of top officials and the lack of clarity in the division of labor between administrative and political - seen as obstacles to the policy formation process - are fairly common topics for discussion.
During the period preceding the EU accession referendum in September 2003, those who opposed Estonia's EU membership referred to themselves as "accession opponents" or "independents" instead of "Eurosceptics".
The primary goal of electronic voting is considered to be raising voting participation. It is still considered questionable in Estonia whether adoption of e-voting will significantly increase voter turnout.
The article analyzes recent developments in regulatory impact analysis (RIA) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) and relates them to the discussions on development of RIA in Estonia.
According to the spirit and the letter (Article 4 and 146 provisions) of the constitution, the legislative, executive and judicial activity of the state is organized on the basis of separation of powers and the principle of checks and balances.
Construction is an activity that results in long-term changes to the environment, due to which the Building Act is one of the most important legal acts regulating construction in the community.
Population policy is in need of clear strategic goals so that we would not be running headlong in several directions at once or get bogged down in petty bickering that might well result in short-term gains but are pointless or even harmful in the long run.
There is a change occurring in our collective consciousness: the notion that children are the personal interest of every family is being replaced with the understanding that children are the collective interest of the family and society (state). In ten years of independence we have reached a serious demographic crisis with no way out without an active parenthood policy on the state level. The parental allowance is the first active step by the state and it cannot be the last.
Socio-demographic changes have forced the architects of social policy to seek better family policy solutions for society's new needs. The article is based on the findings of the 2003 study IPROSEC (Improving Policy Responses and Outcomes to Socio-Economic Challenges: changing family structures, policy and practice) funded as part of the European Commission's Framework Programme 5 and conducted from 2000-2003. Eleven countries took part in the study, 8 of them EU members (Spain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, France, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom) and three candidate states (Estonia, Poland, Hungary).
TALO's collective bargaining agreements with the government worked well until 1999; wage policy planning then started to deteriorate. Subsequent negotiations between TALO and the government became unspecific and the plain and accepted minimum salary scale that had evolved up to that point was effectively demolished.
In Estonia, the key role in developing a social dialogue is in the hands of the state, insofar as both administration of the institutions engaged in the dialogue, and regulation of legislation and the job market. Thus the model for social dialogue tends to be disproportionately slanted toward the state and social partnerships are tagging along, as it were.
The need for a new regional policy has long been clear to all those even remotely involved with regional issues. Unfortunately, it is far from easy to achieve a political compromise between different parties on such a complicated issue.
One of the main characteristics of modern capitalism is mass culture, the part of culture that influences all of society and the people in it.
Direct and balanced information on the activity of state institutions on radio, TV and other media allows public opinion to be shaped as objectively as possible, conveying politicians' views in detail in their proper context. The best prospects of increasing trust in state authority are considered to lie in informational broadcasts on public broadcasting. 57% of Estonians consider this to be the case.
The author gives an overview of the Teachers' Newsletter he edits and the Haridus (Education) mailing list. This list has 750 subscribers.
For some time now, western industrialized Europe has realized that traditional (police) control over crime offers little in the way of new opportunities. Modernization through police procedural reform and better equipment is also barren from the perspective of deterrence.
Crime is undoubtedly a phenomenon for which there is no good explanatory theory, even today.
The Riigikogu's seven years of practice in ordering sociological and public opinion studies is quite unique among Europe's parliaments in terms of content, related to parliament's constitutional functions, as well as the procedure used to reach consensus in preparing the studies.
Roger Harrison and his leading proponent Charles Handy became well-known in the 1970s for applying "ideal type" methods in studying organizational culture. There are four basic types of organizational culture in Harrison's construct: power-centered, role-centered, achievement-minded, person-centered. No working organization is ever 100% pure, but according to Harrison, one of the four always dominates.
Conventional wisdom holds that propaganda is a way of brainwashing people, and somehow unethical. But scholars of government see propaganda as just as important in democratic states as in totalitarian ones.
One of the conditions for achieving contemporary public administration is effective and high-quality supervisory mechanisms.
Much data has been gathered to understand the political preference of the electorate in Estonia. But what good are data if they are not put to use to further develop and modernize politicians' and officials' knowledge?
In March 2003, the first woman was elected speaker of parliament - Ene Ergma.
A legislative bill is never without accompanying documents that annotate its content and aims, helping legislators understand the necessity of passing the law and propriety of the measures within.
The drafting and passage of the most important politico-economic document of the year, the state budget, are regulated in Estonia chiefly by three laws: the Constitution, the State Budget Act and the parliamentary rules of procedure.
Concerns involving the free movement of workers in Estonia are different from the ones in current EU member states. It is not an influx that is feared but rather an exodus of younger people due to a preponderance of highly qualified people and a resulting shortage of staff and drop in competitiveness.
The information-based economy needs workers who are able to integrate their skills with personal traits and views to adapt to the period of economic transition.
The role of parties is influential in local government, especially at election time. In their views and work as representatives, council members still consider the views of the local people more than their party.
Following the entry into force of the Public Procurement Act on 1 April 2001, the question has arisen of why buyers or public organizations do not use open tenders and still try almost without exception to offer unadvertised tenders, which are regulated by a special section of the Act.
Even though a great volume of operations and development plans have been drawn up in Estonia over the last few years, making them official in government has been a complicated affair.
The article focuses on Estonia's political elite's vision of politics and society, in the context of the media discussion of the growing distance between people and politicians.
The public nature of Riigikogu sessions and of voting records is one of the most important foundations of democracy, giving constituents the opportunity of getting information on the work and record of MPs. To better implement the principle of transparency, committee discussions and votes should also be made available, for example by posting them on the legislature's website.
Human society is a complicated system in which orientation would be impossible without universal standards of behavior.
From time to time, the topic of salary and employment benefits for members of parliament crops up, producing widespread discussion among the populace and providing occasion to review the laws. The law on compensation of MPs has been amended on four occasions: in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001.
With the recent introduction of bills on pensions for MPs in mind, the Chancellery of the Riigikogu Economic and Social Information Department gathered background information on retirement benefits in other countries. This work gives a small overview of the results and offers some suggestions for reforming Estonia's system.
The purpose of the analysis was to examine the extent to which Estonians and non-Estonians' trust in political institutions on the local and national level is influenced by social capital and the perception that various political institutions are open to influence.
As a result of a discussion among the members of the Riigikogu Toimetised editorial board, a questionnaire with cover letter from MPs Anti Liiv (Estonian Centre Party) and Ivar Tallo (Mõõdukad) was sent to all cabinet ministers to get an overview of stated budget-funded surveys commissioned between 1999-2001 - the number, cost and respondents, the relationship of surveys to legislation and way in which they were commissioned.
MSI's study on studies and analyses conducted at the behest of state institutions turned up results that more or less were expected and objectively reflected the prevailing confusion and conditions where the rules of the game have not been defined. According to the MSI study, the best way to alleviate this situation is to define clear categories for studies. An amendment which would list the categories should avoid situations where money earmarked for surveys is not used as intended.
RiTo's second volume contained two articles tinged with skepticism where modernization of public administration was concerned, one from Ülle Madise (129-134) and the other by Tiina Randma and Taavi Annus (135-144). The same edition was graced by then-PM Mart Laar's article on the necessity of modernization (40-46).
A local initiative workgroup, set up in the Riigikogu in 2001 on the initiative of the Kodukant Small Town and Village Movement, ordered a survey of relations between villages, village leaders, local governments and the state to clarify the need - on a background of regional policy, administrative reform and processes tied with European integration - to regulate by law the activity of village leadership.
In summary, we can say that employment programs vary greatly from country to country. Studies show that a program that is effective in a certain group in one country will not necessarily work in another. Thus it is important to gauge the influence of a state-run labor program on a regular basis and adapt it according to needs.
In seeking solutions to high unemployment - one of Estonia's most serious economic problems - the tax system and job market have fallen under the lens more and more often. In addition to structural factors, tax burden is a potentially significant factor influencing the level of unemployment. The article examines Estonia's tax burden in an international context as well as the links between employment and taxation.
As Estonia was shaking off the Soviet yoke, the idea of joining the EU had an entirely different meaning than it does today, now that Estonia is one of the more certain candidates in the current round of accession.
Upon Estonia's accession to the EU and in consideration of the ratified Kyoto agreement, the Riigikogu and government need to support electricity production from sustainable sources alongside oil shale-based production.
Corruption in the legal sense does not match the definition used by journalists and newspaper readers.
One of the purposes of the project, Limiting Corruption in a Transitional Society, was to identify which stage of state procurement posed the biggest danger of corruption and how to discourage it with legal measures.
The term conflict of interest is central to anti-corruption regulation, since many different codes of economic law are directed at preventing them.
A public survey done in autumn 2001 by the International and Social Studies Institute at the order of the Riigikogu Chancellery shows the reasons for low political trust in links to other societal problems.
Several years of experience working with linguists in the vocational master's degree program for Tartu University linguists inspired me to write in RiTo on the relationship between language and law, with the emphasis on language.
At the request of the Riigikogu Chancellery, Rull & Rumm analysed how the Riigikogu was received by the public in 2001 on the basis of online and print media. On the basis of the analyses, it can be said that the activities of the party factions received the most coverage.
Trust in the Riigikogu is tied to how informed people are of that institution. Ignorance breeds a feeling of vagueness and a desire to let things just go as they will. The article looks at how people's level of consciousness of the Riigikogu's work and duties has changed, where they get their information from or prefer to get it from, and whether they consider the coverage of the Riigikogu satisfactory.
The article analyses how Estonia's two largest dailies covered values used in implementing policy from 1997-2001.
Minorities in Estonia are a community of many nationalities. Integration and cultural policy vis-à-vis minorities have been on the agenda ever since restoration of independence.
Engineering is a way of life, a creative activity that features by a continuous quest, the need to think in terms of optimum values, bringing new ideas to fruition.
Central and Eastern European states have gone through dramatic times over the last decade. The reform of the economic environment from a centralised command economy to a free market-centred one has produced winners as well as losers.
House and home have considerable impact on people's health, well-being and level of opportunity. Estonia's transitional society has not addressed residential issues very much.
The main goal of regulation is to benefit the social weal and create a macroeconomic environment that would ensure competitiveness.
Democracy is impossible without free press. This is what media theoreticians, political scientists and commentators tell us. But this consensus brings up new questions: what kind of free press does democracy need, and why does it need it?
Propaganda has been around for centuries, and the word has always had a derogatory connotation. Around the middle of the last century propaganda was renamed public relations, so that the people would not associate the agitation of democratic governments with the brainwashing of dictatorships.
The origins of propaganda may be traced back to the time when groups of people first exercised power over others. This implies that in those days already attempts were being made to influence the public. The word propaganda (L. propagare - 'to spread') is assumed to originate from the organisation Congregatio de propaganda fide of the Roman Catholic cardinals that was founded by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.
There is a considerable gap between the output of the Estonian educational system and the demand for education from the labour market.
Will Estonian educational policy be successful? It all depends on to what extent it will be possible to harmonise the activities of the ministries that influence the implementation of educational policy, and also whether these activities can be linked to the overall strategic goals of the educational policy.
In the European Union (EU), integration works mainly through legal instruments. In formal addresses, the community is often referred to as a "legal community", "une communauté du droit", "Rechtsgemeinschaft". Legal forms are the focus of the whole of the EU's operation. Indeed, in terms of legal influences, membership in the EU differs radically from the common activities of other international associations. What makes the situation a complicated one, both for Estonia and several other countries of Eastern and Central Europe, is that the legal reforms introduced during recent years have not been completed.
The letter of the law gives the laws their form, but the deeper goals of laws are not juridical in their essence.
Examining the practices of investments of the local governments so far, it may be said that the seven-year-old system of investment subsidies to local governments has been characterised by permanent changes; fragmentary distribution of financial means; arbitrary decision-making; lack of clear criteria; during some years also a great influence of lobby work; and during the last two years, centralisation.
European Union (EU) decisions are made not only in Brussels. The homework performed in each member state is what matters. If we want this to go smoothly and want one common vote representing the state of Estonia in Brussels in the future, then now is the time to start thinking what the procedure of EU-related decision-making could look like in Estonia. It is true that first a number of foundational issues should be settled: conducting a referendum, possible amendment of the Constitution - which should not be confined to politics, but should also be carefully contemplated and justified also judicially.
After accession to the European Union, the role of representation of the people will be limited, in the context of legislation, to the problem of how to ensure legislative control over the executive power, which is the state's main representative in the decision-making process on the European level.
After entering into the Association Agreement in 1995, Estonia started making preparations for harmonisation of its legislation with the European Union's acquis communautaire. In reply to The White Paper: Preparation of the Associated Countries of Central and Eastern Europe for Integration to the Internal Market of the European Union, an action plan of the Government of the Republic was developed in 1996 for Estonia's integration into the European Union (known also as The Blue Paper). The action plans of the subsequent years also rely on the structure of The White Paper.
A great proportion of the state's social benefits, including welfare, are paid to families that are not poor. Of the financial means allocated for ensuring the coping threshold, 62.3% is spent on supporting non-poor families. In the case of child or unemployment benefits, it is actually not the aim that these should reach only poor families. But unemployment benefits turned out to be directed most of all towards the poor - nearly half was received by the families living below poverty level.
Application of information and communication technology in public administration will ring great changes in the arrangements of public administration and set new requirements in front of the institutions executing public power.
The aim of administrative reforms of the recent decades has been to simplify administrative procedure and to introduce a focus on the citizen in public services. For the citizen, the main indications of quality service are speed, competence, comfort, fairness, and effectiveness. Focus on the citizen is provided by concentrating as many services as possible in a single location or unit in order to reduce the number of direct contacts with civil servants necessary to receive a service or meet a request.
Recently, the Government has submitted the Estonian Science and Technology Strategy "Knowledge-based Estonia" to the Riigikogu. The speech of Prime Minister Mart Laar, and the accompanying speeches of Mart Meri, and the author of this paper, have illuminated several aspects of science and technology in Estonia and the necessities of the state. This paper gives an additional viewpoint concerning several activities and choices in formulating the aims of science and technology for a small country, stressing the needs for the future and possible hindrances.
People in power have always liked to exchange ideas with sociologists. Already in ancient Greece, philosophers debated on the subject of the ideal organisation of society and policy. In today's developed industrial countries, it is hard to imagine the policy-making process without the active involvement of social scientists, research institutes, universities and private companies.
There are two questions at the heart of this debate: first, does the sociology of law as a science have a future in Estonia and, secondly, can we fully understand and implement the opportunities provided by the sociology of law?
Some of Estonia's more active members of the legislature are restless in their call to do away with the traditional, the classical, i.e. formal logical approach and, instead, to adopt a more pragmatic view of things. This approach is based on the assumption that a logical approach is outdated, superficial and misleading. The proliferation of such statements is a deliberate attempt to revive primitive Marxist ideology, which was discarded even by Marxists and Leninist themselves already in the 1960's.
Cognition, media and political communication are being shaped daily. Since there is less time for decisions, especially in the case of political decisions, no one is able to go into details. Cognitive heuristics as a dimension of ambiguity may direct the decision-making process rightly or wrongly. A typical example of this situation was the findings of one social study, which was not analysed in depth by the press. As a result, the findings were misinterpreted and lead to wrong political decisions.
The Internet is changing the way all organisations operate and do business. The conventional Information System and Information Technology Strategies of the past are no longer sufficient or appropriate. Instead, a different approach is needed that takes into account the new convergence of content.
The 1990's brought not only six elections, but also increasingly acute problems that were new to Estonian political life.
Participation in the Riigikogu elections has tumbled to a worrisome degree because all too many people think popular vote has no impact.
The country's electoral system is one of the central elements of its political system. Although one may think that changing an electoral system is relatively easy, electoral reforms are a very rare phenomenon in developed democracies.
The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) recently gauged the civic knowledge and attitudes of 14-year-olds in 26 countries. Current paper deals with electoral attitudes and expected behaviour of Estonian teenagers based on data of above IEA Civic Education Study.
The electoral crisis in the USA got the unusually lively coverage in Estonia for the following reasons: being the most important strategic partner and ally of Estonia the future of American developments and the nature of its democratic institutions are of vital interest for Estonia. The role of the USA and the preservation of America's democratic values is even more important for Estonia today as we face the strong gravitational forces from basically socialist and bureaucratic institutions of the EU. Until Estonia has to cope with the threats like the ones exercised by the EU against Austria the ally able to balance out these challenges remains in the USA.
Estonia's integration into the EU has three levels of convergence: nominal, real and institutional convergence.
The new Public Procurements Act, which was implemented on April 1, 2001, introduced a new procedure for resolving disputes concerning public tenders. The Constitution of Estonia states that it must be possible to protect free competition and contest in the court of law the awarding of public tenders and orders. This protection must be efficient. National interests require that disputes in procurement matters are resolved as quickly as possible.
An important element in the endowment pension scheme is that it requires adequate savings to function. Therefore, a decision to launch an endowment pension scheme cannot merely be political. Instead, it should be an integrated economic resolution, which reinforces the need to re-invest endowment pension funds in the country's economy, and thus lower the cost of finance capital for domestic businessmen. However, more important that that is to ensure that the obligation to lay aside money for pension reform does not increase the poverty of Estonian society.
A pension concept based on three pillars was approved by the last government and today the law provisions for two of them: a state pension (I pillar) and voluntary accumulative insurance (III pillar). The II pillar - the implementation of the principles of an obligatory accumulative insurance - has so far been held back by two painful sets of problems.
The budget of the public sector determines the trustworthiness and effectiveness of a state and has a significant effect on other sectors within it. As a result, the organisation of budgeting continues to remain a subject for topical discussion. Different budgeting methods have their respective strengths and weaknesses: if the mathematical time sets method is suitable for financial managers then the result-based verbal method is much more suitable for politicians. The price of realising these methods is also very different.
The autonomy of parliaments means organisational, functional, administrative and financial autonomy. Legally, the principle of the parliaments' autonomy is contained within the constitution of a state.
The decision taken by the European Supreme Assembly in Cologne, in 1999 - to create the Charter of Basic Rights of the European Union (hereafter the Charter) - has been implemented today. The Charter was prepared in less than a year. Such a pace reminds one of Estonia, where in the course of the legal system reform, acts had to be written several times faster than in countries with a long tradition of democracy. The European Union (EU) neither can nor wishes to be left behind in general developments or to prevent expansion. In addition to the speed, the preparation of the Charter has been characterised by democracy and transparency. In the process of creating the Charter, interest was also shown towards the opinions of candidate states.1
At the initiative of Germany, an assembly was formed at the summit meeting of the European Union (EU) in 1999, in Cologne. Its aim was to develop a draft of the Charter of Basic Rights of the EU, and to present it at the summit meeting of the EU in Nice, in December 2000.
The article will analyse the ethical, institutional, social, economic and ecological basis for Estonia's ability to continue its existence on the basis of existing literature. The results permit us to claim that Estonia has an average, or relatively good ethical, institutional and social basis for the building of a society that is able to continue its existence.
The article discusses the peculiarities, factors and impacts of politics as a regulatory mechanism in society. The author explores the preconditions, risks and possibilities of politics as a voluntary and scientifically founded systematic activity.
In which areas of their activity do members of the Estonian Riigikogu focus most? How important do they rank the relations with their party as opposed to their voters, electoral district or private interest groups, and do these activities compete with or complement each other?
The author is convinced that diminishing the state’s role and improving the exercise of the remaining functions should take place simultaneously by areas of government and various fields. Fulfilling of the “core functions” should be reformed on the basis of principles that are in particular suitable for Estonia.
Many, if not most of the decision-makers, have developed certain understanding and beliefs in relation with the issues of the administrative reform. At the same time, their ideas have often developed without a deeper analysis.
The article aims to remind or inform the reader of the fact that there is no abstract ideal size of a local government unit and that even dwarf-size rural municipalities need not be ineffective. The central idea in determining the ideal size is rather the principle of suitability.
The article deals with the problems of Euro-debate in the Estonian media. In the context of EU negotiations and the possible accession, the Estonian means of mass communication have two different, but equally important tasks.
The article mainly analyses the political attitudes of the Estonian population on the basis of assessments in public opinion polls, as well as concrete participation in political activity. The central theoretical notions discussed in the article are specific and general political support, trust, and legitimacy of the power.
The social and market polling company Saar Poll has, since 1996, been carrying out a public opinion trend survey “The State and the People”, dealing with the problems related to the work of the Riigikogu. The survey has been conducted at the request of the Riigikogu Chancellery.
The aim of harmonising European civil law is to reduce differences between legal systems in order to guarantee a uniform European economic space and legal culture.
The necessity to reform the pension system becomes more pressing due to the ageing of the population. In relation with the pension system, one of the critical outputs of ageing is the decreasing of the workers-pensioners ratio, meaning the rise of the average number of people maintained by one worker.
Following up the article by Prof. Alari Purju, the author discusses public opinion towards a compulsory collecting pension.
The article provides a short overview of how the different phenomena treated under the notion of organised crime in Estonia could be classified, and to what extent indirect measures arising from more systematic economic legislation could help to combat smuggling and related organised crime.
The short article explores the current problems of the Estonian education policy within a wider public policy context. As education policy is one of the areas of public policy, the state welfare model and the main features of the administrative set-up of the state determine also the organisation and principles of the system of education.
The present article deals with the situation of rural schools, the forecast for the coming years and financing of schools from the state and local government budgets.
The article pays attention to the need for cooperation between all areas of fight against drug addiction, and sets out to compare the efficiency of this cooperation.
Estonia and Poland are linked through centuries-long good relations, sympathies and numerous mutual interests, which with their rises and setbacks have by today created not only a very good basis for cooperation on a new level (European Union and NATO), but also, already during the less than ten years that have passed since the reestablishment of Estonia’s independence Poland has become one of our most important partners.
In connection with the organisation of the Estonian legal system there is a proposal to regulate in future all private law contracts under law on obligations.
Max Weber, founder of the sociology of law, explicitly distinguished formal, procedural (how?) and material, substantive (what?) dimensions of law.
The article proceeds from a survey carried out by the Riigikogu Chancellery to study the opinions of participants in the law-making process regarding the use of social information in the legislative process and the ways of raising effectiveness of legislation with the help of that information.
The article describes the essence of the normative technique of law creation, its necessity and the problems of the normative technique that have arisen in the legislative process.
The article is based on a survey carried out in 1999 to analyse 156 draft laws submitted to the Riigikogu with respect to their conformity to the requirements of content of the legal acts regulating the legislative activities of the Riigikogu and the Government, and to the methods for the assessment of the impact of regulations in selected OECD countries.
As is characteristic for a society in transition, democratisation of the society causes conflicts connected to the political expectations of the population and realisation of those expectations.
The article presents some of the results of a survey ordered by the Riigikogu Chancellery which reflects the change in the credibility of the Parliament and the interest of the people in its activities.
There are 5581 non-profit associations in Estonia (as at 1.11.99). By fields of life, their number is the biggest in public, social and personal services (3268 associations), and in real estate, lease and business services (1962).
The Estonian Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Act was under attention already in 1998 with respect to its amendment. The aim of the amendment of the Act was to bring excise tax rates into dependence on the cost of the motor vehicle, and through the excise tax rates promote indirectly the procurement of newer, more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. In this connection, an overview of the vehicle taxes in the EU member states was made.
Taking into consideration the producer and consumer subsidy equivalents in planning the future development directions of agricultural policy provides, in the opinion of the author, a sufficiently adequate picture of a comparative level of subsidies by product groups in Estonia.
Summaries of statistics of the first and second instance courts are compiled twice a year, in July and January, and the data is also published on the homepage of the Ministry of Justice.