In the first phase of the amalgamation reform 160 local governments were merged (47 merged regions). 23 local governments fulfill the legal minimum criterion of 5000 inhabitants and 26 local governments do not fulfill it and do not apply for amalgamation. 19 local governments in eight region are merging although they do not fulfill the minimum criterion. Altogether, after the first phase there are 100 local governments in Estonia, 83 rural and 17 urban municipalities. If the government proposals for obligatory mergers are realized, the number will be reduced to 69 (58 rural and 11 urban municipalities). Probably there will be more local governments in the future, however the concrete solutions will become clear only after the local governments have made their proposals and these have been considered. Therefore, a considerable number of local governments has to prepare for amalgamation after the local government elections. In order to enable them to thoughtfully prepare for this step, Geomedia consultant Rivo Noorkõiv conducted a training with local government officials, which took place on the 16th of February 2017 in Jõulumäe. The training focused on amalgamation preparations. Moreover, the fulfillment of concrete tasks and possible solutions for obtaining a better future were discussed.
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