Estonia: Regional strategies for sustainable and inclusive territorial development

Today, we are publishing a spin-off report - the ReSSI-EE (Regional Strategies for Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Development – Estonia) that provides evidence-based policy recommendations on the development and implementation of mechanisms to strengthen multilevel and cross-sectorial coordination of regional policy in Estonia.

The report capitalises on the findings of the ESPON ReSSI project that examined how smart, sustainable and inclusive economic development can be promoted by local and regional authorities in Europe, in the context of evolving landscapes of territorial governance and planning.  

The research found success stories in policy design and implementation, where consultation and communication with stakeholders provide positive outcomes. Cross-border cooperation also brings a positive contribution to the economic development.

But regional development organisations coordinate mostly vertically – with central government and with local government and not with other organisations with which they might share functional areas. Lack of institutional capacity -especially in the border municipalities -and lack of resources was also reported by various stakeholders. 

Policy Recommendations for Estonia

The report proposes a number of practical policy recommendations:

  • Develop county strategy documents to help link sectorial needs to funding opportunities.
  • Improve institutional capacity at local level and county level
  • Reinforce shared territorial visions among stakeholders.
  • Attract stakeholders to long-term partnerships through diverse support and funding.
  • Showcase successful policies, programmes and interventions which result from horizontal and vertical coordination
  • Establish a council of cross-border municipalities and counties
  • Establish cross-border sectoral councils

You can read more about Estonia the opinions expressed by local and regional stakeholders and the policy recommendations by downloading our report