Overview Article on the Amalgamation Reform

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In the Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics Estonia 3/2017 an article was  published by Geomedia Ldt consultant Rivo Noorkõiv and Lääne-Nigula  municipality leader Mikk Lõhmus focusing on “The Amalgamation Reform: An overview of the events and first conclusions”. The amalgamation reform  resembles the systematic restructuration of local governments in  re-independent Estonia after 25 years discussion. After the local  government council elections in October 2017, the structure of urban and  rural municipalities in Estonia will have tangibly changed. Only time  will show to what extend the local governments will manage to  accommodate to the new situation, grow their capacities, stop the  persistent government centralization of the last years and balance the  regional development gap. The article constitutes an overview of the amalgamation reform progress. It states that the problems of Estonian  local government units are much deeper than merely a shift in  administrative borders as well as the achievement of effectiveness of  public services and the capacity of leadership. A development towards a  multi-level governance model is necessary, alongside with a restructuration of public administrative functions and a division of  responsibilities and funds at the local, regional and central government  level.

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