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The President's roundtable says that a social accord is necessary

Roundtable of Local Government and Regional DevelopmentThe President's Roundtable of Local Government and Regional Development today at Kadriorg under the chairmanship of President Arnold Rüütel discussed the necessity and subject of a social accord to be concluded. Beyond these leaders of local governments, who are simultaneously members of the roundtable, also county governors and the Ministers of Finance and Regional Affairs took part in the discussion.

The roundtable supported the idea already earlier endorsed by the President's Academic Council to conclude in Estonia a new social pact. As stressed by the Member of the Academic Council, Professor Kalle Merusk, our society is expecting a more stable and balanced development of areas being crucial to Estonia`s progress. According to him, the pact would just cover areas determining Estonia's development over importance and meaning of which a political and social consensus could be reached.

President Rüütel said: "In order to reach on the basis of consensus an accord satisfying all parties, a comprehensive social dialogue has to be launched, productive course of which can be ensured by several existing mechanisms. I, for one, support the idea of creating for social dialogue in Estonia a network with nodes in all 15 counties. Through that, it would be possible to collect and communicate information both horizontally and vertically. A network like that also would enable us to get feedback on conformity of the social pact's subject to the actual needs and to check how the accord works."

Roundtable of Local Government and Regional DevelopmentThe participants in the roundtable agreed to the suggestion of the President's Academic Council that the subject of the social accord, first of all, should be made up of topics like demographic development, accessibility of education complying with contemporary demands, safeguarding a stable economic environment, and an appropriate relationship between the central authorities and local governments. Top experts from the mentioned areas will make their proposals for the topics to be included into the accord by the end of the year.

This day's roundtable sought answers also to the question what kind of local government system the Republic of Estonia needs and whether the introduction of it also requires the accord to be in place. During the discussion, it was repeatedly underscored that the state and local governments should make it to relations based on partnership.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, October 1, 2002

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