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Mayor discusses the impact of European funding on regional development with the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Mayor discusses the impact of European funding on regional development with the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart met today with Elisa Ferreira, the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, where they discussed the impact of European Union funding on the City of Tallinn and regional development as a whole.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart noted that over the years, Tallinn's involvement in the national-level EU funding program preparation has significantly improved, as well as cities' broader participation in EU-level decision-making. "The impact of EU funding on the city's development can be seen daily, particularly in street construction projects throughout Tallinn. We also discussed with the Commissioner what Tallinn can give back to other municipalities. In the European Green Capital year, we established a competence center for sustainable development to identify opportunities for creating a more sustainable urban environment. Our knowledge will be applied in other municipalities in Estonia and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine," said Kõlvart.

From 2014 to 2020, Tallinn utilized external funding and structural support totaling 87.7 million euros, for nearly 500 projects with a combined cost of 137 million euros. Major investments have received support from the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, while service development has primarily relied on the European Social Fund. The largest investments went into road construction, street lighting, educational facility construction, as well as the development of social and educational services. Support was also received for smaller projects, innovative developments, and more. Besides structural funds, funding sources included the Interreg, Erasmus, and Horizon programs, as well as support from the European Economic Area Grants.

For the period of 2021-2027, Estonia will be allocated a total of 3.37 billion euros in support from the European Union's Cohesion Policy. During this period, Tallinn plans to apply for funding from the EU structural funds and other financing programs to implement the city's strategic activities. The inclusion of external funding sources is also planned in the city's financial strategy. One of the major themes for the new funding period is adapting to climate change, biodiversity in cities, raising awareness of circular economy, waste reduction, and reuse.

Between 2023 and 2027, external funds will account for nearly 17% of the city's planned investment activities. Some of the major planned investments funded by external sources include the purchase of new trams and tram infrastructure construction, the purchase of electric buses and chargers, road maintenance, creating mobility hubs, and the construction of a tram line between Ülemiste terminal and Vanasadam (Old City Harbour).