The aim of the European Union regional policy or cohesion policy is to harmonise the development of the member states and improve the competiveness of the economic area all over the world.
The Structural Funds or euro financing are used via three funds: European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and Cohesion Fund.
In 2014, a new seven year budget period started in the EU. Over that period, in total, 3.5 billion euros will be channelled to Estonia from the EU Structural Funds; the administrative area of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be responsible for the use of 1.3 billion euros. However, the implementation of the period that ended in 2013 will be carried on until the end of 2015.
- European Union Structural Assistance »
Structural Funds in 2007-2013
During the 2007–2013 programme period, Estonia has had three operational programmes for the development of different spheres, implemented by the following ministries:
- Operational Programme for the Development of Economic Environment
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
- Operational Programme for the Development of Living Environment
Ministry of Environment
- Operational Programme for Human Resources Development
Ministry of Education and Research
Although the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is in charge for the Operational Programme for the Development of Economic Environment (OPDEE), the Ministry contributes to all the three operational programmes.
Implementation of the Structural Funds is co-ordinated by the Foreign Financing Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications that also conducts surveillance over the final beneficiaries.
Over the next seven year budget period, in total, approximately 3.4 billion euros will be channelled to Estonia from the EU Structural Funds; the administrative area of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be responsible for the use of 1.24 billion euros.
The implementation period will end in December 2015.
Operational programmes 2007–2013
The three operational programmes, implemented during the period, are divided into three priorities, which are, on their turn, divided into measures and programmes.
Priorities for the Operational Programme for the Development of Economic Environment:
Innovation and growth capacities of enterprises
Transport investments of strategic and regional importance
Promotion of information society
Priorities for the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development:
Knowledge and skills for innovative entrepreneurship
Every year, monitoring reports will be drawn up about the implementation of every operational programme.
The reports will provide an overview of the implementation of measures and financial progress or taking commitments and making payments, achieving the goals, established within the framework of operational programmes, analysis of results and information dissemination activities.
Application for support
The following agencies must be contact to apply for support over the next budget period:
- Enterprise Estonia
Grants and supports to enhance the innovativeness and internationalisation of enterprises, to ensure competitiveness and sustainable development of Estonian tourism sector
- Estonian Information System’s Authority (EISA)
Supports and grants for the development of information society
Allocation of funds
The Ministry will enter into administrative agreements with private legal persons-priority intermediate bodies (Enterprise Estonia, KredEx, Environmental Investment Centre), thus granting them authority to use the Structural Funds over a defined period of time and indicating the scope of funding.
The Ministry will enter into state budget allocation contract (so-called financing contract) with the recipient of the allocation.
According to the contract, the funding will be broken down into administrative costs, structural support, co-financing of support and self-financing of programmes and state budget allocations.
Structural Funds 2014-2020
A new European Union seven year budget period started in 2014; in total, the period will be implemented for ten years – until the end of 2023.
Over that period, in total, 3.5 billion euros will be channelled to Estonia from the EU Structural Funds; the administrative area of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be responsible for the use of 1.3 billion euros.
As one of the prerequisites for using the Cohesion Fund financing, Estonia, like all the other member states, using the funds, have drawn up a partnership agreement and based on this document, operational programmes for using the funds; draft of the agreement was submitted to the European Commission in the beginning of 2014.
The Commission has six months to process the strategic documents; then the new financing period will be open and we can start with the implementation of projects, co-financed by the European Union.
- Programming 2014-2020 »
Review of planning and schedules
Allocation of investments by area