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Today, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu discussed the national preparations for carrying out the EU solidarity policy in 2014–2020. During the next budgetary period, EU resources will be directed into fields that support competitiveness and growth. It is hoped that the European support will have a positive impact on economic growth, development of business environment and creation of jobs. It is also important to coordinate and to avoid overlapping different resources.

“During the last EU budgetary period, Estonia was one of the most efficient users of EU funds. These have helped us to organise a large part of the national infrastructure – roads, buildings and pipes. The next period will centre on sensible economic growth, wellbeing of people and improving of the quality of work and life,” said the Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee Arto Aas.

National priorities during the EU budgetary period of 2014–2020 include high-quality accessible education that takes into account the needs of the students and the society; high employment and good quality work life; knowledge intensive and internationally competitive economy; clean and diverse natural environment; sustainable associations and recreational activities that satisfy the needs of the population and support the business field. In addition to this, funding is given for increasing the administrative capacities of the state.

Estonia’s part in the budget of the next seven years is EUR 5.89 billion, which is EUR 907 million more than during the budgetary period of 2007–2013. EUR 3.37 billion has been intended for financing the investments of the solidarity policy.

In order to increase the returns from using EU and national resources, Estonia links the national and specialised strategic initiatives to the objectives of using EU resources, based on the competitiveness and employment plan “Estonia 2020”.

The use of EU solidarity policy funds during the new EU financial period will take place in a coordinated manner within the framework of the partnership agreement, along with the resources of the common agricultural policy and fisheries funds. This will allow all EU resources to be planned in a more comprehensive way and makes the management more flexible.

The Committee discussed this important issue in the framework of the unofficial meeting of ministers responsible for solidarity policy, held on 26 November in Vilnius.

The Riigikogu Press Service