Overview Article on the Amalgamation Reform07.12.2022
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.