The key area of regional development is the advancement of centers and the greater exploitation of regional peculiarities.Several areas are of central importance in Estonian regional policy - significant regional differences, concentration of the citizenry and economy into the larger cities due to a shrinking population, the weakening of secondary centers, and spatial distances that inhibit the growth of rural areas.
In accordance with the regional development strategy, the state is working to ensure consistent growth in all areas, applying the unique potential available due to each area's peculiarities.
Estonia's regional development strategy for 2014-2020
The Government of the Republic ratified this strategy and its implementation plan for 2014-2020 on 20 March, 2014.
This new strategy focuses on the developmental needs of all of Estonia's regions and is investing more than previously in the improvement of work availability and services in areas which have been adversely affected by urbanization by emphasizing the strengths and unique aspects of each region.
- Regional development strategy for 2014-2020 » (1.82 MB, PDF)
- National competitiveness based on regional strengths and the benefits of a growing economy reaching all areas.
- Ensuring the essential benefits for good quality of life (employment, services, various activity opportunities) in all regions.
Main strategic goals are divided into four major groups:
- An environment for life and enterprise in the active regions which supports their wholeness and competitiveness. In order to shape a balance against the draw of larger urban centers with stronger active regions across Estonia, having improved environments for living and entrepreneurship as well as diverse work, service and activity opportunities.
- An environment in major cities that promotes competitiveness in the international economy. In order to increase the importance of our urban areas as centers of growth for innovative and science-intensive economy with the help of an increasingly attractive living environment.
- Exploiting region-specific resources with greater skill. This promotes specialization in growing areas of competence and enterprise according to region-specific conditions, and an increasing clarity in the uniqueness of different areas.
- Greater connectedness and ability to grow. For regions to achieve a stronger ability to develop by greater inter-regional connectivity and increasing efficiency in regional cooperation and capacity for growth.
This new regional development strategy pays closer attention to the uniqueness of each area and brings out four major regions of growth along with their needs and opportunities for development. Each region should focus on developing certain advantages for areas of enterprise which have the greatest potential for growth, which should not at the same time weaken the flexibility or diversity of the entrepreneurial structure of the region.
Compiling the strategy and the tasks of the ministries
Drafting of the new strategy began in 2012 and it involved a wide circle of experts, foundations and organizations from various disciplines. This new regional development strategy harmonizes the state's general framework for regional development, its goals and a plan for its implementation. This strategy will guide each ministry in the framing of their long-term plans - the ministries' specific functions are enumerated in the strategy's implementation plan. The new regional development strategy is also one of the foundations for the adoption of euro-money in years to come.