Administrative reform to get going at long last

Estonian counties and parishes.

PHOTO: koolibri.ee

Tossed to and fro by various winds of differing parties and governments these past couple of decades, after the governmental session tomorrow the administrative reform will presumably make it to Riigikogu to be deliberated. 

The hopes are higher than ever before as all three parties in coalition have reached a basic agreement and are hoping for essential discussion and support at Riigikogu.

As invited by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a round table of local government and regional development was convened in Kadriorg where the head of state deemed it necessary to underline that the deliberations of administrative reform as part of state reform be thorough and carried by a simple principle: good coping must be possible in all of Estonia.

«Let’s provide the word regional development with its actual content,» encouraged Mr Ilves. «Strong local governments which are created as the result of mergers of small parishes and towns equal better and more professional local government support for the administration of local life and the providing or mediation of services.»

As an unavoidable deadline, President Ilves pointed to local government elections in the fall of 2017 when the mergers of current parishes and towns should take its final shape.

Despite the hopes expressed by the President, the discussion of administrative reform will not necessarily be overly smooth in the parliament this year as we hear the opposition has an abundance of hesitations and proposals.

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