Estonia National Platform

History

Following the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015 – 2030) the Ministry of the Interior in Estonia established its National Focal Point within the Department of Rescue and Crisis Management Policy.

At the end of the very same year, the Government of the Republic of Estonia passed a decision to form a task force for civil protection, which consisted of two levels: the steering group and the expert group.
The Civil Protection task force included the following institutions and organisations: the Government Office, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Rural Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Rescue Board, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Internal Security Service, the Emergency Response Centre, the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, the Estonian Defence League, the Environmental Board, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, the Tax and Customs Board, the Health Board, the Association of Municipalities of Estonia, and the Association of Estonian Cities. The work of the task force was coordinated by the Government Office and by the Ministry of the Interior. The aim was increasing public awareness and preparedness for potential crises and improving public ability to cope with such situations and the preparedness of the population for such situations, as well as ensuring the protection of the population through the cooperation of various institutions. In order to achieve this, the emphasis was placed on the necessity of agreeing on a comprehensive approach to civil protection as well as on the roles and responsibilities of different parties in civil protection in any national crises, which could include civil crises (such as natural disasters, catastrophes), terrorist activity, or a military conflict.

At governmental level, Estonia has developed an internal security strategy (in Estonian also known as STAK), that lays the ground for internal security policy in Estonia.

Structure

Estonia uses three-level crisis committee system as a national platform:

1. Government Crisis Committee (will be held at least 4 times per year)- coordinates the performance of the crisis management duties of authorities of executive power, where necessary imposes on them duties for preventing and preparing for emergencies and monitors the performance of duties imposed;

2. Regional Crisis Committee (will be held at least 4 times per year) - coordinates, in the region, the performance of crisis management duties of regional structural units of authorities of executive power and local authorities and forms a permanent or ad hoc territorial or field subcommittee, if necessary;

3. Local authority crisis committee - coordinates crisis management within the local authority and submits to the regional crisis management committee annual summaries of the activities of the local crisis management committee and the work plan for next year.

All crisis committees work in close cooperation. All policy documents, recommendations, guidelines will be sent to regional and local level. In addition, as a bottom-up approach, local level sends relevant information to regional and government level.

MoI also organizes risk communication network meetings and coordination meetings for vital service providers. Both groups meet regularly and provide relevant bottom-up information to the Crisis Committees. MoI is also a service unit of Government Crisis Committee. This means that two-way information (policy documents, recommendations, guidelines etc) moves quickly between government/ regional/local level and stakeholders.

The platform supports, among other things, the implementation of the goals of the Sendai Framework of Action in Estonia.

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