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State

Parlamento estone

 
OFFICIAL NAME: REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA
OFFICIAL NAME IN ESTONIAN: EESTI VABARIIK
NATIONAL FEAST: FEBRUARY 24 (Indipendence in 1918)
GOVERNMENT: PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC
ADMINISTRATIVE SUBDIVISION: 15 REGIONS or COUNTIES
MEMBER OF: COUNSIL OF EUROPE, NATO, ONU, OSCE, UE, WTO

Independent in 1918, Estonia was annexed to USSR in 1940. After the German occupation period (1941-1944), this encouraged an intensive Russian immigration. The independence was declared in 1991 and in 1992, through the Constitution, Estonia attributed a parliamentary system of government to itself. The Estonian Parliament only consists of one Chamber with 101 members who are elected every four years. Among its functions, the Parliament elects the President of the Republic who serves for five years. The executive power is wielded by the Government.

The Republic of Estonia is divided into fifteen counties: 
 

COUNTY  CAPITAL
Harjumaa Tallinn
Hiiumaa Kardla
Ida-Virumaa Johvi
Jogevamaa Jogeva
Jarvamaa Paide
Laanemaa Haapsalu
Laane-Virumaa Rakvere
Polvamaa Polva
Parnumaa Parnu
Raplamaa Rapla
Saaremaa Kuressaare
Tartumaa Tartu
Valgamaa Valga
Viljandimaa Viljandi
Vorumaa Voru

DATES
1918: First Declaration of indipendence
1940: Annexion to USSR
1941-44: German occupation
1944: New annexion to USSR
1991: Second Declaration of indipendence

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The President of the Republic is Head of State. Since Estonia is a parliamentary democracy, the President of the Republic's powers are quite limited and he has mainly a representative role. He (or she) is the chief of the Armed Forces and represents the Country in foreign affairs. He (or she) is elected by the the Parliament for a five-year term. The President of the Republic cannot be elected for more than two terms.
The current president is Toomas Ilves, elected in 2006.

THE PARLIAMENT
The Riigikogu is the Estonian Parliament. Besides bringing about changes in laws and ratifying foreign treaties, among its main functions, it also nominates the President of the Republic. According to the Constitution, the Parliament only consists of one Chamber with 101 members. The first Estonian parliamentary elections took place in 1920, the last one in 2007.

THE GOVERNMENT
The Government of the Republic of Estonia exercises executive power and carries out the country’s domestic and foreign policy. It is headed by the Prime Minister. Among its functions it formulates the financial law, then approved by the Parliament. It also manages and co-ordinates the activities of government agencies.

The current Government has the following composition:
 

  • Prime Minister
  • Ministry of Education and Research    
  • Ministry of Population Affairs
  • Ministry of Regional Affairs
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
  • Ministry of Culture
  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Justice

 

Tallinn

Tallinn, the capital of the Republic of Estonia, is a city with distinctly medieval features.

Tartu

Tartu is a university town crossed by the Emajogi River located in the south-eastern part of the country.

Pärnu

The city owes its name to the homonymous river running through it before flooding in the Baltic Sea.

Helsinki

Capital of Finland, Helsinki is a city of small, strategically placed between East and West.