> Eesti Linnade Liit (ELL)
Kiri, mille ELL ja EMOL esindajad andsid üle EL regionaalpoliitika volinikule hr. Johannes Hahn'ile kohtumisel, mis toimus 14. oktoobril Tallinnas.
Mr Johannes Hahn
Commissioner for Regional Policy,
Tallinn, 14.10.2010 Nr 1-6/134
Meeting with Commissioner on 14th of October 2010
We are thankful for the opportunity to meet and submit our views on the use of Structural
Funds in this period and on the next period 2013 +.
Local government participation at the use of structural funds in Estonia, latest
developments (loan restrictions)
In addition to the natural decrease in tax revenues due to the economic recession, the
state budget of 2009 and negative supplementary budget of 2009 have cut furthermore
both the revenue base of local authorities and allocations from the state budget to
local budgets. All this has happened at the time when the need for the services from
the authorities closest to the citizens has risen abruptly. In the course of adopting the
state supplementary budget a number of legal regulations were changed resulting in a
considerable reduction of the share of personal income allocated to local authorities.
Local Government revenue declined in 2010 compared to 2009 base year, -10.5% and
-20.9% compared to year 2008.
From 1st of March 2009 until the end of year 2011 local governments can take the loan
only for co-financing foreign aid and for refinancing of existing obligations only with the
permission of the Ministry of Finance.
It also compromises the effectiveness of the use of external resources, because they
are not able to make additional investments that are necessary for the full use of objects.
2013+ cohesion policy and EU 2020
The future EU Cohesion Policy must continue to support all EU's localities in their
social and economic development, with a special focus on the regions lagging behind.
The essential aim is to boost competitiveness, economic growth and employment. As
regards the social and economic inequalities between the Member States and regions,
the only way to achieve social and economic cohesion should be by giving urgent
support to regions that are lagging behind and improving the quality and efficiency of
public service provision.
EU2020 proposed flagship initiatives should not lead to any restriction of European
cohesion policy. The Structural Funds must remain capable of integrated problem-
solving at regional level and should not be reduced to meeting sectoral conditions.
Local and regional authorities play a decisive role in economic and social development
of all territories in the European Union and in implementing EU policies and achieving
cohesion. More responsibilities, accompanied with appropriate resources, should be
allocated to local and regional authorities. Member States should be obliged to involve
the local and regional level in planning, decision-making, implementation, monitoring
and evaluation. Funding should support the integration of economic, social and
environmental development and be designed in a mid- and long-term perspective.
Therefore, local and regional authorities, in their capacity to reconcile the sometimes
contradictory effects of sustainable development at the relevant territorial level, should
play a major role in the implementation of programmes. Local and regional authorities
by nature play a prominent role in regional and economic development, therefore
responsibilities, accompanied with appropriate resources, should be allocated to them.
The partnership principle should be emphasised. Member States should be obliged to
involve the local and regional level in planning, decision-making, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation.
The best way to do this is through partnership - European institutions to lay down the
future guidelines for cohesion policy as part of a territorial pact with state and local
and regional authorities and to set out therein the on-the-ground role of the flagship
We support the simplification of funds, less bureaucracy and concentration on results.
Funding programmes must be simple and consolidated in order to lower the
administrative burden for local and regional authorities and to shift resources from
administration to concrete action.
The most effective model may ultimately be that each territory should receive a single
block of consolidated EU funding, which is based on a set of priority outcomes agreed
between the territory, the Member State, and the EU, under a three-way ‘contract'.
Local and regional public services play an important role in in order to achieve
cohesion and increase the competitiveness of the EU. High quality and accessible
services of general interest are crucial for economic survival, quality of life and the
stability of local communities.
Taavi Aas Jüri Landberg
Chairman of the board, Chairman of the board,
Association of Estonian Cities, Association of Municipalities of Estonia
Vice-Mayor of the City of Tallinn