Sustainable Estonia 21

Different ministries and agencies as SE21 is implemented through governments’ sectoral and thematic strategies and action plans.
Key objectives of the measure:

Sustainable Estonia (SE21) is a strategy for developing the Estonian state and society until the year 2030 with the aim of integrating the success requirements arising from global competition with the principles of sustainable development and preservation of the traditional values of Estonia. The main task of the strategy is to answer the question of what should be done to ensure successful functioning of the Estonian society and state also in the longer term. SE21 is designed as a feedback-based and periodically self-correcting societal process, in a way a mechanism of self-management of the society. The core of SE21 consists of (commonly valued) development goals, which are expected to be realised with contribution from a broad range of actors and with funds from a variety of sources.

Among four main goals stated in the strategy viability of the Estonian cultural space is the first goal. The Estonian cultural space is defined as an arrangement of social life based on Estonian traditions and the Estonian language.


Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
regulatory, institutional
Main feature of the measure:

Estonia has considerable experience in advancing sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Act was adopted by Parliament already in 1995. In 2005, the Parliament adopted the Estonian Sustainable Development Strategy „Sustainable Estonia 21“, which states 4 main goals for sustainable development in Estonia. Number one of them is the viability of Estonian cultural space. The Estonian national sustainable development strategy is implemented by governments’ sectoral and thematic strategies and action plans. The national sustainable development strategy is one of the main horizontal strategies that has to be taken into account when designing governments’ strategic development plans. In 2016 Estonia was among the first countries that submitted a national voluntary review on implementation of the 2030 Agenda to the UN. 


Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

Sustainability of cultural space is assessed using the following three criteria (sub-goals) along with their indicators:

  1. Extent of the Estonian cultural space.
  2. Functionality of the Estonian culture.
  3. Temporal continuity and plasticity of the Estonian culture.

Key mechanisms for achieving the goal are education, reflexivity, communication and innovation.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Financial resources are allocated through different ministries according to their yearly work plans for implementing their strategies and long-term action plans. 

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

First evaluation regarding the implementation of SE21 was carried out in 2008 in order to define topics that are important for sustainable development. As a result the list on sustainable development indicators has been constantly improved and currently there are 69 indicators used. Understanding the problems, statistics and trends remains in the circle of experts and is not widely spread. In order to have a dialogue with the society it is important that information and knowledge about bottlenecks and key aspects of sustainable development are delivered to the society and policy makers.  

Based on the survey carried out in 2010-2011 Statistics Estonia recommended to map and analyse the relevance and quality of sustainable development indicators used in Estonia.

Indicators used to determine impact:
Relevant information is available at the Statistics Estonia website 
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)