Editorial: effectiveness more essential than items in treaty

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Photo: Urmas Nemvalts

The new government (if formed) is not blessed with comfy times to enter office. One thing to write stuff in coalition treaty – another matter what months ahead may bring in the shaky world next door, as also pertains to our economic environment. Clearly, the coalition-to-be-created must stand ready to react, swiftly and flexibly, to changing circumstances. Just like the two governments of Mart Laar, and the second one of Andrus Ansip’s.

Who knows what Putin’s Russia might do. Not to mention possible extremes, it’s more than probable for Kremlin to do some economic bullying on Estonia – soon. Let’s herewith consider that in these past years, Estonia has had relative little of it, compared to Lithuania, say. Nice ties, one may say, but still leading to increased dependency. Lest we forget: Russian economic growth halted even before Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. We must reckon with the scenario that income from Russia, up to now among our top 5 trade partners, will basically fall away. Short was the joy of improved relations...

The more reason for us to strive towards Estonian enterprises to find their place on emerging markets and to move upstream in Europe with added value. Thus, let’s be thankful the coalition-in-the-making has invented a minister specialising in exports. Experience tells us that in various cultures – such as emerging markets – the glory of «ministerhood» is much weightier than here in Estonia, or in the Nordics. 

Add here the bringing of e-state coordination under direct accountability to Prime Minister. Instead of warming ourselves in the glow of ideas some 15 years old, let’s get innovative again in thought and deed, lest e-Estonia lose its essence and aura.

The political question being, however: why could Reform Party not have done these selfsame things together with IRL? The more so that, at least for the Estonian public at large, both abovementioned steps are known as ideas personally (supported) by Mart Laar or more broadly by IRL. Also: the universal increase of child benefits was not resisted by IRL, but rather by Reform Party.

Behind the push by Reform Party to do a temporary coalition with soc dems and not IRL, it’s difficult to see anything but pure political technology. Obviously, the idea is to always support the weakest of its competitors. IRL showed its strength in the autumn, at the local elections; their greater effectiveness as contrasted with Reform was especially glaring in Tallinn. Let’s ask the awkward question: did Reform Party even bother to offer IRL a new treaty?