The rural weekly newspaper Maaleht (12.01.2017) published Rivo Noorkõiv’s article under the title “Employment opportunities should wisely support regional development”. In Estonia, about 657.000 people are employed, out of which 591.000 work as wage earners. Solely in the public sector altogether 135.300 people are fully employed, out of which ca 87 % work in the government sector. The latter is divided into 55.300 employees working for the central government and ca. 62.300 for the local government units. From those fully employed for the central government, 45% work in Tallinn, 22% in Tartu and 6% in Ida-Virumaa (elsewhere significantly less). The analysis of state tasks (Ministry of Finances 2016) conveyed that there are 35 institutions (3300 work places) that could be considered for a partial or entire relocation out of Tallinn. The current plan foresees the relocation of around 300 work places. A relocation on this scale is bleak and only a drop in the ocean for a rebalanced regional development. To achieve a better effect, it is necessary to organize the employment scattering around lighthouse projects based on clusters: merging overlapping institutions and connecting them to local development premises and needs. Therefore it is wise to concentrate the resources on carefully selected locations such as Ida-Virumaa or Tartu. The relocated institutions have to be viable also in the longer perspective and create an additional value for the living environment in the regions. In this case it would be also possible to create additional work places in the private sector. It is necessary to create mechanisms that strengthen the principles of local governments and decision-making opportunities, which put the state centralization and political power dislodgement from the citizens to a stop.
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