Foreign Ministry’s budget prioritises security policy, Estonians abroad and business diplomacy
On September 30th the government adopted the 2022 draft state budget. The budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stands at €99.4 million with a €5.1 million or 5.4% increase on last year. The foreign service continues to focus on reinforcing Estonia’s security, helping Estonian companies via business diplomacy, developing a global network of Estonians, and development cooperation.
“The main objective of Estonia’s foreign policy is to reinforce our national security and ensure the welfare of people. Good relations with our allies and partners, and an active and visible representation of Estonia’s interests in international organisations are crucial for this,” Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said. “A large part of the Foreign Ministry’s budget next year is aimed at conducting diplomacy in the European Union and NATO and developing bilateral relations with other countries. Naturally, protecting the interests of the people of Estonia abroad and supporting our companies are equally important.” Estonia has 49 foreign representations in total, including the representations opened this year in Seoul and Singapore. Activities aimed directly at protecting Estonia’s security and interests cover €33.1 million of the budget.
The ministry of foreign affairs is allocating additional funds of nearly €2 million to support Estonian exports and attracting investments. This will complement the €5.03 million from the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. “We are developing the network of business diplomats and completing the reform aimed at improving cooperation between Enterprise Estonia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to include advisors of Enterprise Estonia to the structure of Estonia’s representations abroad. This will help us support and advise Estonian companies abroad in a clearer and more efficient way.” Work will continue next year on launching the representations in Singapore and Seoul to help Estonian companies enter the Asian market.
A strong link to Estonian communities abroad and their participation in the global Estonian network are essential for preserving Estonian language and culture and safeguarding Estonia’s economy and security. “Our aim is for those living abroad to maintain their Estonian identity, feel supported by our state and have a chance to participate in Estonia’s public life while also helping to present our country and perpetuate its positive image. It is also important to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people of Estonian origin to return to Estonia,” Minister Liimets said. Half a million euros in additional funds is earmarked for that goal.
Sustainable development cooperation aimed at our priority countries is also a crucial part of Estonia’s foreign and security policy. “Together with the recently established Centre for Development Cooperation, we are aiming to increase and bring together Estonia’s capabilities and expertise to participate in international development cooperation projects. We would also like to increase cooperation with our essential partners and increase the share of third party funding in our work,” Minister Liimets said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia