At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) was given an overview of the use of the financial resources of the European Union in 2014–2020. During that period, Estonia will get altogether 4.4 billion euro from the structural and investment funds of the European Union.
Chairman of the Committee Kalle Palling was happy that the beginning of the financial period had been more dynamic in comparison to the earlier period, and all preconditions had been created to start implementing the planned measures step by step.
In Palling’s opinion, it is necessary to speed up making payments to those sectors that have been hit by depression first of all because of the sanctions against Russia and low prices on the markets.
Deputy Head of the State Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance Külli Kraner, who presented the overview to the Committee, said that during the budget period of 2007–2013, our country was in the stage of development where we wanted to build up our basic infrastructure. “Now we have reached the next growth stage, where the focus is on smart economic growth, increase of productivity and increase of employment,” she said.
Kraner said that another peculiarity of this stage was the distribution of structural resources: one third of the money would be allocated to increasing of employment and development of people, another third to research and development and innovation, and to business activities. The last third supports the achieving of those objectives – these are investments to transport, energy and ICT.
In Kraner’s opinion, Estonia has started new budget period faster than it started the previous one. “If besides the preparatory activities of the period, we also look at the payments that have already been made, we can see that we have arrived further than at the comparable moment of the previous period,” she said.
According to the estimation of the Ministry of Finance, the progress of the opening of the measures has been good, especially as during 2015, the support schemes of 2007–2013 were still open and the payments were made parallelly for two periods. During 2015, most of the support measures for business (including creative economy) and innovation were opened; the measures for promoting information society, for enhancing social inclusion and for labour market activities were also rapidly launched and opened to applicants.
In 2016, more dynamic implementation of the activities of the 2014–2020 period and significant increase of the level of payments is expected. Kraner pointed out as an example that, as a whole, the support measures for information society, transport and the development of small and medium enterprises had started well and larger payments to applicants could be seen.
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