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Commission recommended Estonia to extend unemployment benefits and renew fleet

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The European Commission on Monday published country-specific recommendations for the next six months. The Commission urged Estonia to speed up renewable energy projects, to ensure cross-border energy connections and to be able to make the transport sector much more environmentally friendly. It should also pay more attention to social security.

The Commission places Estonia in the group of 18 Member States according to the fiscal deficit criterion. Although the country escaped the list in the past, the Commission’s forecasts have suggested that Estonia’s deficit exceeded the 3% of GDP ceiling specified in the treaty base. In addition, Lithuania and Poland are forecast to run larger deficits than normal.

The Commission also considers that Estonia should plan for unexpectedly rising expenditures related to the war in Ukraine over the next six months. The government should be prepared for rapid modification of planned expenditures depending on the evolving situation.

In addition, it suggested Estonia to invest in green and digital turnarounds and boost energy security.

The country is expected to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. The Commission thinks Estonia needs to be quicker in granting renewable energy permits.

Estonia is one of the European countries that have no car taxes. Carbon emissions from transport have been increasing in recent years.

The Commission has considered that Estonia should stimulate the renewal of the vehicle fleet by encouraging people to replace their old, polluting vehicles with more environmentally friendly alternatives. It should also ensure that the measures will not be beyond the reach of vehicle owners with modest incomes.