Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation (No. 103) concerning the European Union structural funds, submitted on 4 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Toomas Varek, Lauri Laasi, Inara Luigas, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Vilja Savisaar, Lembit Kaljuvee, Vladimir Velman, Tiit Kuusmik, Aivar Riisalu, Enn Eesmaa, Toivo Tootsen, Ain Seppik and Mailis Reps.
The Prime Minister said that at the national level the payments continued to be made in the traditional way, internally the payments had not been suspended. 3 billion kroons of advance payment have been received from the European Commission, soon there will be an additional advance payment in the amount of 2 billion kroons. At the same time, during the period 2007–2013, 633 million kroons have been paid to the recipients of supports from domestic resources.
According to Ansip, there are more than 350 officials in Estonia who are dealing with the implementation of structural funds on a permanent basis, either as their full-time or part-time work. Besides that, officials who are not permanently engaged in the implementation of structural funds are also involved in the work from time to time, e.g. during the development of a concrete support measure. During the period 2007–2013, the absolute capacity of structural funds for implementation year has doubled in comparison to the period 2004–2006. The number of implemented measures has also doubled. In 2007–2009 the projects of the period 2004–2006 are implemented and finished, at the same time numerous new measures and activities are prepared and launched. Thus the administrative load of Estonian state agencies is greater than average during those years.
Besides internal auditing authorities, the use of structural funds is also controlled by the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors, and if they are not convinced in the efficiency of internal auditors, it may mean financial losses for the state but not necessarily for the recipients of supports.
The Prime Minister explained that the use of the funds of the first period, 2004–2006, showed that in spite of following the rules extremely correctly to the letter, we had still managed to use the funds and use the funds purposefully. “I believe that we shall also be able to use the funds of the current period, 2007–2013. Naturally, I am not satisfied with the present rate and I can assure you that the attitude of my colleagues, other prime ministers, is the same: nobody is satisfied with the present rate of the use of the European Union funds,” Mr. Ansip stated. According to the Prime Minister, things are getting better each day and all funds should be used by 31 December 2015.
Prime Minister replied to eight more interpellations. They are the following:
Interpellation (No. 102) concerning the transfer of a municipal school into the possession of a foundation, submitted on 2 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Mailis Reps, Ain Seppik and Vilja Savisaar;
Interpellation (No. 107) concerning Eesti Energia, submitted on 9 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Lembit Kaljuvee, Kalle Laanet, Tiit Kuusmik, Kalev Kallo, Valeri Korb, Toivo Tootsen and Toomas Varek;
Interpellation (No. 109) concerning the increase of salaries in ministries, submitted on 10 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Toomas Varek, Evelyn Sepp, Helle Kalda, Tiit Kuusmik, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus, Aivar Riisalu, Vilja Savisaar, Kalle Laanet, Rein Ratas, Arvo Sarapuu, Toivo Tootsen, Kalev Kallo, Olga Sõtnik, Nelli Privalova, Enn Eesmaa and Inara Luigas;
Interpellation (No. 110) concerning the receipt of taxes, submitted on 10 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Tiit Kuusmik, Evelyn Sepp, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Kadri Simson, Lauri Laasi, Inara Luigas, Kalle Laanet, Arvo Sarapuu, Aadu Must, Enn Eesmaa, Nelli Privalova, Jüri Ratas, Olga Sõtnik, Toivo Tootsen, Rein Ratas, Kalev Kallo, Aivar Riisalu, Marika Tuus and Heimar Lenk;
Interpellation (No. 111) concerning the amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act, submitted on 11 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Marika Tuus, Heimar Lenk, Vilja Savisaar, Tiit Kuusmik, Inara Luigas, Arvo Sarapuu, Aadu Must, Kalev Kallo, Lembit Kaljuvee and Valeri Korb;
Interpellation (No. 112) concerning the activities of the Tax Board, submitted on 15 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Ain Seppik, Helle Kalda, Mailis Reps, Toivo Tootsen, Vladimir Velman, Lauri Laasi, Jüri Ratas, Enn Eesmaa, Aadu Must and Tiit Kuusmik;
Interpellation (No. 113) concerning the activities of the Security Police at the Tallinn City Government, submitted on 16 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Toivo Tootsen, Ain Seppik, Kalle Laanet, Kalev Kallo, Aivar Riisalu, Tiit Kuusmik, Vladimir Velman, Vilja Savisaar, Toomas Varek, Nelli Privalova and Heimar Lenk;
Interpellation (No. 115) concerning the statement of the Minister of Regional Affairs, submitted on 17 December 2008 by members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Ain Seppik, Rein Ratas, Arvo Sarapuu, Jüri Ratas, Nelli Privalova, Heimar Lenk, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Eldar Efendijev, Marika Tuus, Enn Eesmaa, Lauri Laasi, Tiit Kuusmik, Toomas Varek, Helle Kalda and Vladimir Velman.
The sitting ended at 18.56.
The Riigikogu Press Service