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The Reform Party Faction has a right centre world view, which means that it emphasises the central role of low taxation and wider individual and market freedoms and the freedom of enterprise in the development of a country.

As the Reform Party has held the responsibility of a government party for a long period, its parliamentary group in the Riigikogu has for a long time also been the most influential parliamentary group that has had the greatest impact on the life in Estonia. This has meant consolidating a predominantly right-liberal right-wing form of government.

The work of the parliamentary group follows the political programme of the Reform Party and has developed alongside it. Classic examples are the reduction of the tax burden of individuals and the abolition of corporate tax. The Reform Party led the introduction of the parental benefit and started the transition to Estonian-language education.

Over the past years, the parliamentary group has played an important role in giving the Estonian people a sense of security and confidence in their country in turbulent times. Investment in national defence has been increased in order to ensure security. As a result of the energy war launched by Russia, mechanisms were created to help people cope with fluctuating energy prices, increase energy independence and accelerate the introduction of new energy sources.

World view

The Reform Party’s liberal world view prioritises individual freedoms and entrepreneurship as the driving force of the state.

Everyone must have the freedom and opportunity to strive for a better future and to shape their own destiny without the state interfering with unjustified rules and norms. Enterprising individuals must be allowed to act. It is the role of the state to create an environment that supports this, that honours private initiative, that has a simple tax system and fair competition, and where businesses and people are treated equally.

The Reform Party is firmly committed to sustainable public finances and more efficient spending. Well-managed public finances ensure the stability of the economic environment, protect taxpayers’ interests and keep public sector expenses under control. In good times, money should be set aside for future crises, and not used for inflating public spending.

The security of Estonia must be firmly guaranteed both by an independent will to defend and defence capability and by strong alliance relations. We are guided by the principle of “never again alone” – only cooperation with allies and open communication will create a secure future for Estonia. Equally important are our own efforts in national defence and ensuring domestic security.

Estonia is the only country in the world that has been created for the survival and development of the Estonian nation, language and culture. This has to form the basis for the education system, language and cultural policy, as well as migration and citizenship policy. We all have reason to be proud of our small country and of everything our people have achieved in spite of all trials. Every Estonian should be a patriot at heart, and this does not necessarily have to be measured in words or deeds.

Equal treatment and tolerance are important for the Reform Party. In Estonia with an open society and with European values, people have better opportunities to realise their potential and to do modern and smart work. In a competitive world, we can move towards a smart economy only with the support of innovation created by open-minded people with good education. Recognition of bold, independent and open thinking creates better conditions for the birth of world-class products and services here also in the future.

Estonia must be the best place to raise children and also to spend a dignified old age. The Reform Party believes that, as a rule, people can manage their own lives and do not need excessive interference of state in their in private and family lives. All people who want to contribute to society must be able to do so. It is the duty of the state to create a supportive environment, to provide high-quality and accessible services and needs-based support. Taxpayers’ money must support those who really need assistance, and the purpose of assistance should be to help more and more people to become independent and self-sufficient.

Political priorities in the short term

The Reform Party sees the strengthening of national security, the maintenance and development of alliance relations, the reorganisation of public finances and the smooth implementation of the transition to Estonian-language education as the most important goals for the future.

History

The Estonian Reform Party was formed on 13 November 1994, when the initiative group led by Siim Kallas and the Estonian Liberal Democratic Party (ELDP), founded in 1990, decided to merge under this name.

Siim Kallas’ initiative group brought entrepreneurs and public figures who had not been directly involved in politics to the party. It also attracted several unaffiliated politicians, such as Valve Kirsipuu, Uno Mereste, Ignar Fjuk and Toomas Savi. Members of the ELDP Paul-Eerik Rummo, Meelis Atonen, Heiki Kranich, Tiit Käbin, Toomas Vilosius, Andres Lipstok, and others joined the new party.

Since the parliamentary elections of 1995, the Reform Party has been represented in every composition of the Riigikogu. Since the mid-1990s, the party has also been a member of most of Estonia’s government coalitions, and its influence has been considerable, particularly in regard to Estonia’s free market and low taxation policies.

Members

Erkki Keldo
Yoko Alender
Liina Kersna

Staff

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Last updated: 10.04.2023

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