In recent years Estonia belongs to the fastest growing economies of the EU. The Baltic country has established itself as a showcase for digital transformation. Yet the country’s digital leap and its transition from a socialist to a capitalist economy have created great structural change. The capability to adapt to these changes in society and economy is unequally spread, with some regions benefiting from change and others falling behind. Social inequalities are linked to regional disparities thus it will be difficult to fight inequalities without addressing the regional divide. Despite increasing regional disparities, the issue has been hardly prioritized by political decision-makers during the last three decades. The Estonian regional disparity report identifies current spatial variations in the light of future risks and challenges for the country.
Policies should be directed at improving living conditions in the regions facing cumulative problems stemming from precarious employment, low educational credentials, weak economies, and political disengagement. This requires the development and implementation of long-term strategies for development and social cohesion in Estonia. This calls for new a new policy approach at European and national level, aiming to redistribute resources at the local level and establishing a better regulatory framework.