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Introduction of the Ministry

The Ministry of Finance is the government’s expert in the implementation of tax, financial and fiscal policies, and setting economic goals. 

We maintain a strong fiscal policy and a stable, simple tax system to provide maximum support for macroeconomic stability, the economy’s growth potential and employment, and to restore the competitiveness and reliability of the financial environment.

Efficient cooperation with international organisations, especially with the European Union, is important to us, because the decisions made there have an ever-increasing impact on the national economic environment.

Sustainable financing of the health care and pension insurance systems with an aging population is also a challenge.

The importance of administrative policy is also growing, because combining the state’s support activities and coordinating public service converges in the Ministry of Finance.

 

Areas of activity of ministry:

  • planning and implementation of the state’s fiscal policy;
  • planning tax and customs policy, and maintaining a stable tax system;
  • economic analysis and economic forecast;
  • development of the public service;
  • reviewing applications for permits for aid granted by the state to business (state aid) and advising aid donors;
  • advising suppliers and tenderers on carrying out public procurements and supervising public procurements;
  • collection of national statistics;
  • organising and coordinating the implementation of the government’s internal control system and the professional activities of internal auditors;
  • state accountancy;
  • allocating the state’s financial assets and liabilities, foreign aid and loans granted to the state;
  • coordinating the aid available to Estonia;
  • financial and insurance policy;
  • planning and coordinating the state’s real estate and participation policy.
 

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission

We are the government’s expert in the implementation of tax, financial and fiscal policies, and setting economic goals. Knowing the possibilities, we create solutions.

The Ministry of Finance is an active participant in the development of the government’s policy and is responsible for its implementation in its field – the government’s actions in the implementation of policies must be financed.

The main activity principle of the ministry is compliance of goals and resources. Goals must be set in such a manner that their achievement is realistic and that the necessary resources – the right people and money – are available. We have a say in the financing of all areas of the state and cooperate actively with other ministries. This calls for knowledge of the nuances of these areas, and an ability to see the bigger picture of the state’s economic possibilities and social development trends. All in all, the ministry must know the process and background of setting goals for the economy and the public sector as well as forecasts and the management systems developed on the basis of these.

Our Vision

The Ministry of Finance is a reliable developer of public finance and the economic environment. We want to be valued by our employees, partners and the general public. We contribute to making Estonia the best country it can be to live in and for people's self-realisation.

The goal of the ministry is to set an example in the development of public administration by combining the best global experience with Estonian innovation. We are the leader and authority of national economic policy discussion; we prepare quality forecasts and development scenarios about the future; and we analyse the impact of the government’s decisions on the economy. We offer solutions and activities for the promotion of policy areas in a timely manner.

The main areas of activity of the Ministry of Finance are economic, tax, financial, administration and fiscal policy, which we develop in a single value chain.

In order to meet the priorities we have set, it is important to be an active participant in making decisions at the EU level and develop an active dialogue with foreign partners. In our function as the government controller we can develop management quality and guarantee that the state’s funds are used expediently.

Our vision is implemented on three levels.

  • Behaviour and communication with employees and partners. It is important for the ministry to be reliable in the eyes of our present and future employees.
  • Development of professional competence and guaranteeing the high quality of actions.
  • Cooperation and distribution of information about results. We cooperate with our partners to achieve common goals. Trust is the basis of cooperation for our partners in Estonia and abroad.

Our Values

The Ministry of Finance is...

  • reliable

We want to be the leading expert in our field – one which is demanding about the way it acts. This is why we keep developing and requesting feedback about our actions. In our activity we rely on facts, we are honest with ourselves and others, and we are independent and unbiased. Our activities must be understandable to all of our colleagues and partners and to the general public. We conduct ourselves in an honest and open manner and we admit when we are wrong.

  • fair and open

We value cooperation. We want to be a reliable, fair and open partner. Inclusion is a natural part of our work. We respect the opinions of our partners and always explain the motives behind our decisions and actions.

  • creative

We are open to innovation, we have foresight and we are creative. Foresight means understanding long-term social processes and considering them in our decisions. This allows us to create innovative solutions. We develop creativity and try to learn from every experience.

  • rational

We look for solutions that are more efficient than those made before, and we don’t support innovation just for the sake of it. The solutions we create should guarantee that goals are achieved in the most sustainable manner. The same principle applies to us as well – our actions and decisions must be economically expedient.

 

History


The Ministry of Finance of the Estonian Republic was established on February 24, 1918, and was headed by Mr. Juhan Kukk as minister. But it was only at the end of 1918, after the German Army had departed from Estonia, that the ministry could start working.

The Estonian Provisional Government was faced with several difficulties when establishing the republic's executive machinery. Initially, it was not quite clear how the executive functions of state should be organised.

Neither was it easy for the heads of the ministries to find officials with adequate training and practical experience in managing and running government units or agencies.

Originally, the Ministry of Finance of Estonia consisted of the office of the ministry and 4 structural units: the Treasury, the Head Office of Direct Taxation, the Excise Tax Head Office, and the Customs Head Office. The Central Committee of Income Taxes, the Central Committee of Direct Taxes and later the Committee of Special Real Estate Affairs and the Customs Committee operated within the ministry.

The structure of government units and agencies changed in 1929, when the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry were merged, and became the Ministry of Economics. The functions of the new ministry included monetary and credit policy implementation, the management of public sector resources, as well as the coordination and supervision of commerce, industry, insurance and shipping.

Old building of the Ministry of Finance

In the summer of 1940 Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and the former Ministry of Economics was "reorganized" into the People's Commissariat of Finance of the Estonian SSR. In 1946 it was renamed the Ministry of Finance of the Estonian SSR.

In 1990, when independence was reinstated in Estonia the ministry once again became the Ministry of Finance of the Estonian Republic.

The latest major changes took place in January, 1993, when the Government reorganized the former Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of Finance into the Ministry of Finance.

 

Last updated: 17 August 2017