The European Commission finds in its assessment report published on Wednesday that Estonia had only partially complied with concrete recommendations that were issued to EU countries for better co-ordinating their economic policies. Estonia received a total of four recommendations last year from the Commission.
In terms of the State budget, Estonia has strayed from the course of keeping the budgetary deficit at the level of 2.1% of GDP in 2012. Instead, the European Commission predicts that the country’s deficit will be 2.6% of GDP.
The same was the Commission’s assessment on the labour market policies. The Government of Estonia has taken a number of steps to lower labour taxes, but there are shortcomings in active labour market policy.
In energy policy, Estonia has failed to stimulate individuals to prefer public transport to personal vehicles and the trend in Estonia tends to go the other way.
In the field of education, the Commission admitted that the quality and accessibility of vocational education has improved and the number of people involved in life-long learning is growing as well, but not enough attention has been paid to low-qualified workers.
In its recommendations to Estonia, the European Commission proposes that Estonia continue with the administrative reform in order to guarantee better access to public services on the local level. It was noted that currently, local governments have difficulties in guaranteeing social welfare, healthcare and education services to all of their residents; they appear to be too small in order to meet the obligations set upon them by law.
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Read also: Country-specific Recommendations 2012-2013