The candidate for Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was authorised to form a government with the support of 56 Members of the Riigikogu. 44 Members of the Riigikogu voted against authorising Ansip to form a government.
The candidate for Prime Minister presented a report on the bases of forming a government to the Riigikogu. “The government, for the formation of which I ask your support today, promises, in the first clause of the governance agreement, to take the government sector to structural budget surplus by 2014 at the latest and to maintain the surplus throughout all the growth years. With that, we have clearly declared that the government which is asking for a mandate will pursue a policy directed to enhancing the quality of life of people, framed by an obligation of responsible and sound management, that is, the obligation to continue to develop Estonia as an attractive and reliable economic environment,” promised Ansip. He continued: “The greatest objective of the government’s activities will be to enhance the quality of life of people, to create such Estonia, such living environment where our culture is promoted, where more children are born and the life expectancy of Estonians extends and where people would gladly like to live.” Ansip stressed that the government is going to continue the ongoing structural reforms in education and to make the vital strategic decisions in energy. A reform of special pensions and old-age pensions under favourable conditions will have to be carried out, the occupational accident and occupational disease insurance will have to be established and the secure flexibility of the labour market will have to be increased. The government is going to lower labour force taxes, reduce the income tax rate to the same level as the value added tax rate, eliminate the fringe benefit tax on work-related formal education acquired within the adult education system, develop the general economic environment further towards enterprise-friendliness and increase the social security of families with children and pensioners. As the greatest objectives, the candidate for Prime Minister highlighted a competitive economy, a family friendly state, a sense of social security and highly educated people. Ansip summarised the extensive, 55 page coalition agreement in one sentence: “Organised economy will lead to rise in the standard of living of all people in Estonia.” The prerequisite for this is stable economic growth and a competitive economic structure. Ansip promised that the government will ensure the continuing of the parental benefit system and the establishing of the parental pension and financing of the participation of young people in hobby groups. Also, pensions are expected to grow in the coming year as well as the following years. In order to reduce unemployment, the main attention will be focused on young people and people who have been away from the labour market for a long time, active labour market measures will be developed depending on the labour market situation, including wage subsidies, work practice, the business start up subsidy and training of people who lack professional training, the capacity of the unemployment insurance fund to help people in finding a new job will be improved by providing a faster service, modern information technology possibilities and a more personal approach. As a long-term goal, the candidate for Prime Minister mentioned bringing the education to the same level with the Nordic countries. He also confirmed that the objective of Estonian foreign policy will not change – it will remain focused on ensuring the security and welfare of Estonia. In the conclusion of his speech, Ansip said: “I believe that, in the coming four years, Estonia will be governed by a strong Riigikogu and a capable government and together we will take Estonia closer to wealthy European countries by four years. In this work, I trust in an honest interest and contribution of the civil society, the media as well as the opposition.”
Members of the Riigikogu also had the opportunity to pose questions to the candidate for Prime Minister.
For more details, see the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):
The Riigikogu Press Service