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Foreign Minister Mikser: Legal amendments made to strengthen foreign service

8. October 2018 - 9:48

The Government of the Republic approved the draft of the Foreign Service Act Amendment Act. Reducing bureaucracy and the administrative burden is one of the important objectives of the amendment of the Foreign Service Act.

“The present version of the Foreign Service Act must be amended - we want to take steps towards a more efficient, competitive, transparent and modern foreign service,” said Foreign Minister Mikser. “The goal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to contribute to the stability of international relations and thereby take care of the security of our state. As a result of the amendment of the Foreign Service Act, our diplomats, who are in service on the front line of security and at the same time promote the interests of our entrepreneurs and protect our citizens outside the territory of Estonia, will be able to focus on their main tasks.”  

Coordination across ministries will be reduced with the draft and the administrative formalities related to specific persons in the foreign service will be completed by the dispatching ministry in the future. Duplicating steps will be omitted and paperwork will be reduced in relation to the appointment and removal of ambassadors. There will be at least 1,500 fewer procedures each year after the draft enters into force.

The foreign service will continue to rely on professional diplomats, and the mandatory rotation between the capital and various foreign representations will remain the biggest specificity of the foreign service. The amendments will streamline and simplify the system of social guarantees for this purpose. The amendments will make it possible to develop a contemporary salary system for the foreign service.

The present Foreign Service Act was adopted in 2007. The amendments to the Foreign Service Act arise from the goal set in the action plan of the Government, which is to strengthen the foreign service, and the obligation to modernise the Foreign Service Act set upon the amendment of the Public Service Act (2013).

Estonia has 45 foreign representations, including seven permanent representations by international organisations. Just under 600 officials work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over half of them in foreign representations.

Sandra Kamilova
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Communication Department

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