Strategic goals

The “Estonia 2035” strategy sets out five long-term strategic goals that are based on the base principles. The goals were agreed upon at discussions that took place across Estonia over a period of two years, and on the basis of opinion gathering (almost 17,000 people have contributed). Strategic goals are value-based goals that are the basis for making the country’s strategic choices and to the implementation of which all Estonian strategic development documents contribute. They are also taken into account in the state budget strategy and in the preparation of the government’s action programme. In order to reach the goals, it is necessary to take into account Estonia’s development needs, global trends, the policy framework of the European Union, and the global objectives of sustainable development.

Base principles

The basis for achieving the goals is a democratic and secure state founded on freedom, justice and the rule of law, which respects the principles of the rule of law and the social state, and preserves and develops the Estonian nation, language, and culture. This is ensured by a creative, responsible society that values openness and communities, preserves and promotes Estonia’s identity and ensures a diverse, accessible and up-to-date vibrant cultural space.

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Estonia's people are smart, active and care about their health. Achievement of the goals is monitored by healthy life years, participation in the labour market, culture, sports, and volunteer work and participation rate in lifelong learning activities among adults (incl. informal learning).

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Achievement of the goals are monitored by measuring caring and cooperation in society, contacts between different groups in society and the level of relative poverty.

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Estonia’s economy is strong, innovative, and responsible. Achievement of the goals are monitored by labour productivity as a share of the EU average, GDP per capita created outside Harju County compared to the EU-27 average and research and development expenditure in the private sector.

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Living environment

Estonia offers a safe and high-quality living environment that takes into account the needs of all its inhabitants. Achievement of the goals are monitored by satisfaction with the living environment, environmental trend index and number of people who have died from poisoning, injuries, and certain other external causes per 100,000 inhabitants.

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Estonia is an innovative, reliable, and people-centered. Achievement of the goals are monitored by position in the global presence index table (Elcano), good governance index 
trust towards state institutions and share of investments of local government units in administrative sector expenditures.

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    The basis for achieving the goals is a democratic and secure state founded on freedom, justice and the rule of law, which respects the principles of the rule of law and the social state, and preserves and develops the Estonian nation, language, and culture. This is ensured by a creative, responsible society that values openness and communities, preserves and promotes Estonia’s identity and ensures a diverse, accessible and up-to-date vibrant cultural space. For the survival of the Estonian population, children must be valued and having children must not worsen the social status of families or cause economic difficulties. Estonian must remain viable, including as the main language of information, education, and work. Everyone must have equal opportunities for self-fulfilment and participation in society, regardless of their individual characteristics and needs, belonging to different social groups, their socio-economic capacity, or place of residence.

    Estonia’s security is guaranteed by membership of and contribution to NATO and the European Union, as well as close cooperation with allies and other international partners. It is in the interests of Estonia that the European Union would be influential in the world and united, value-based, solidary and effectively functioning as an association of nation states based on the treaties. Estonian national defence is ensured by independent defence capability and collective defence, which is supported by a strong will to defend. Defence expenditure is at least 2% of the GDP and is based on the current threat situation. The basis for the organisation of Estonian national defence is a broad concept – everyone must contribute to national defence.

    By 2050, Estonia will be a competitive, climate-neutral country with a knowledge-based society and economy and a high-quality and species-rich living environment, willing and able to reduce the adverse effects of climate change and make the best use of its positive aspects. Coordinated development of the cultural, social, environmental and economic fields is a prerequisite for achieving the goals of sustainable development. In Estonia, knowledge-based decisions are made, with effective and innovative approaches being preferred when choosing solutions.

    Estonia's people are smart, active and care about their health

    Achievement of the goals is monitored by indicators:

      Smart people value knowledge, protect themselves, others and the (living) environment, and has a supportive attitude towards all groups in society. They are curious, creative and enterpreneural, eager to learn and are ready for the nature of their work to change.

      Active people can handle their life well and are socially active and responsible, contributing to the development of themselves, their family and the community, as well as the state, throughout their life.

      People who care about their health are health-conscious, behaving in a way that protects the lives of themselves and others, and the environment. They take care of both their mental and physical health.

      Society Estonia’s society is caring, cooperative, and open

      Achievement of the goals are monitored by indicators:

      A caring society is attentive and helpful. Here, everyone has the opportunity for self-realisation throughout their life cycle, and the necessary support network is provided. Combining work, family and private life is supported, everyone contributes to social and cultural activities regardless of their age, and people’s well-being has improved.

      A cooperative society is based on a sense of belonging and a willingness of the people to actively contribute to the achievement of common goals and the creation of benefits. Each and every person, family, community and nongovernmental organisation can and wants to get involved in the organisation of society and work together.

      An open society supports change that creates common value and meets the challenges that the state and its people are facing. At the same time, Estonian culture and communities are strong, caring and cooperative, and people are culturally aware.

      The Estonian economy is strong and internationally competitive and finds new business opportunities. The Estonian economy is flexible and ready for structural changes, offering development opportunities in all its regions.

      The Estonian economy is innovative and knowledge-based, using new technologies and business models and flexible forms of employment. Favourable conditions have been created for R&D and innovation in private sector, and researchers and companies are co-operating. The Estonian business environment attracts people to work here, start companies or engage in virtual business, invest, and create and test new solutions that benefit society at large.

      The Estonian economy is responsible towards people and nature. It's secure economic environment favours flexible, innovative and responsible entrepreneurship and fair competition. Valorisation of local resources has increased and the use of natural resources takes into account both biodiversity conservation and the socio-economic impacts.

      The living environment is designed with the needs of all people in mind, and decisions are based on the basic principles of high-quality space planning and the principles of inclusive design to ensure that everyone has access to, and finds comfort in, the mental, physical and digital space. Innovative technologies and nature-based solutions are used, reducing the time spent covering distances and ensuring a good living environment in every part of Estonia.

      The living environment is safe, and when planning public space, preference is given to solutions that promote safe and secure and health-promoting behaviours that ensure accessibility. A safe living environment is created in cooperation with everyone.

      The living environment is of high quality and it is planned in a way that preserves the heritage and biodiversity of nature. People are space-conscious and spatial planning decisions improve their opportunities for joint action and participation.

      Estonia is an innovative country that values the creation and use of knowledge, where social life is organised with the help of new, people-centred and efficient technologies. The legal and tax environment and the organisation of governance foster social cohesion, the adoption of new solutions, innovation, and flexible public administration. Public services function in the background and are predictable, and the data space is protected. Organisation of the state and people’s participation therein is both trend-setting and exemplary for other countries.

      Estonia is a reliable country for its citizens and a valued partner in international relations. The governance of the state is open, i.e., power is exercised in the public interest in an honest and transparent manner, observing the principles of the rule of law and guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people. Estonia is guarded and defended, we are well-known in the world and the country’s international position is strong.

      As a country, Estonia is people-centred, where policy-making is co-creative and people can participate in making important decisions. Public services are of high quality and accessible to people, regardless of where they live, and increase people’s well-being and security.

      Last updated: 24.08.2021