Estonian Compact Approved

31 December 2002

Submitted by: Daimar Liiv
Director, Estonian Law Center

On December 12, 2002, the Estonian Parliament unanimously approved the Estonian Concept for Civil Society Development. The Concept reflects a partnership-based model of cooperation similar to the Compact between the Government and the Volunteer and Community Sector in England and the Accord between the Canadian Government and the Voluntary Sector.

Under the Concept, a special cooperation commission will be formed between the Government and not-for-profit sector to elaborate collaborative programs and activities. In addition, the Concept sets forth short-term priorities and long-term goals for this cooperation. For the next year, priorities include developing the public funding system for NGOs and furthering data collection on the NGO sector.

The Concept was originally envisioned by leading Estonian NGOs and legal experts in the Spring of 1999. Estonian NGOs then joined together to prepare and advocate for the draft, discussing it internally and then with politicians and public servants. The draft of the Concept was introduced to the Estonian Parliament in the Spring of 2001, after the First Estonian Non-profit Organizations Roundtable. After two years of study, we are pleased to report that the Concept has now been approved.