The mission of Estonia 200 is to be the party of reforms, leader of the newly established political party Kristina Kallas said at the party's pre-election convention held at Haven Kakumäe in Tallinn on Sunday.
"For the first time in a long time in Estonian politics, the pre-election program of Estonia 200 is a political action plan that doesn't consist only of a political foam of words. Through our program, we wish to talk about Estonia's problems frankly and honestly and identify clear solutions for them. Our mission is to be the party of reforms," Kallas said. "Our wish is for Estonia to make it and be successful in everything it does. This requires putting an end to the policy of burning money and introducing big change. We must pull ourselves together, make the country affordable for us and bring it close to the person again."
Kallas said that while the pre-election program of Estonia 200 addresses numerous areas, the three biggest objectives for the party are a state that is close to the person, bringing additional money into the Estonian economy and offering quality education all over Estonia.
A state close to the person, in the vision of Estonia 200, is a state that builds on the view of a human being.
The fundamental question when it comes to the development of Estonia, according to Estonia 200, is whether we are able to invest in our people sufficiently and wisely – not only in their development, but also in terms of feelings of security. The system of social protection must be freed of red tape and its even quality and accessibility ensured across Estonia.
The state needs to be turned around and social services reorganized in such way that their provision is based not on how it is convenient to manage them, but how it is convenient for the person to receive the service. Municipalities must be freed of the complex and cumbersome duty of provision of social services and strong welfare centers set up across Estonia where a person can get all necessary support for coping and advancement of their health in one place.
More trust must be placed in communities, also when it comes to finance. Communities know local concerns better than anyone else. According to Estonia 200, communities must be vested with responsibility and entrusted with the organization of their own life.
For a developmental leap to occur in Estonian economy, additional money is needed. Estonia 200 pledges to bring the money invested by Estonian residents in their pensions back to Estonia and finds that at least half the money of pension funds should be invested in Estonian businesses. Additional money will enable Estonian businesses to expand beyond the country's borders and make people outside Estonia work for the good of the Estonian economy. The state must begin to trust entrepreneurs again in both words and actions and not stand in the way of entrepreneurs with excessive regulations, control and obligations.
To create an evenly strong and quality education system, the school network has to be put in order under the leadership of the state and nationwide standards developed regarding both the availability and quality of education. Schools must provide all children of Estonia with equally good education regardless of their place of residence or the language that they speak at home. All children must receive at least secondary education and the work of teachers must be remunerated with a pay at least one and a half times the national average salary.
To ensure that Estonian universities and science are world class, financing of research and development must rise to at least 2 percent of GDP, the program of Estonia 200 for the March 3 general elections reads.
The board of Estonia 200 confirmed chairman Kristina Kallas as its candidate for prime minister on Sunday.