County governments’ activities are terminated

The Government decided on Jan.12, 2017 that all county government activities shall be terminated on 1 January 2018. The local tasks of the county governments shall be transferred to the local authorities and the state tasks shall be transferred to ministries and existing departments.

Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb is of the opinion that the current regional administration arrangements need changing. The county governments today have very few tasks remaining and that volume of tasks is set to be reduced further when after the administrative reform the larger and stronger local authorities are to receive more tasks. “The county government reform will enhance the decision-making rights on the local authority level, establish clarity regarding task distribution between state bodies and remove agency duplicity,” said Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb. “At the same time the counties will continue to exist as state administrative units, with the state providing the necessary services to the population. No required state service will disappear, but the service provision quality and availability at county centres will be streamlined. The local authorities will be providing the locally needed services.”

As a result of the reform, the local authorities will be able to engage in planning of county developmental activities, coordination of county cooperation, vital statistics, additional cultural undertakings and regional public transport improvements.

The ministries will be responsible primarily for organisation of supervision in different spheres, land actions, implementation of regional development programmes and compilation of state planning documents.

Preparation for the termination of county government activities has been entrusted to the Ministry of Finance, with March 2017 set as the date for submitting the plan to the Government.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Finance

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