Operational Programme for Cohesion Policy Funding 2014-2020


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Programme description

Main objectives

The Operational Programme (OP) for Cohesion Policy Funds is a multifund programme, bringing together investments from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund and aimed at contributing to the delivery of the European Union's strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and to the achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Funding priorities

The OP, with a total budget of EUR 4,891,748,878, invests in 11 thematic objectives. The total EU contribution is of EUR 3,534,560,285. These EU funds will be allocated as follows:

  • 18.2% is dedicated to research, technological development and innovation to increase investments in R&D to 3% of GDP in 2020, to enhance R&D and innovation in the private sector, and to strengthen the international competitiveness of Estonia's R&D and higher education system.
  • 13.5% is set aside for sustainable transport in order to limit the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from sectors not covered by the emission trading scheme (ETS), to improve road and rail networks, to enhance maritime transport, to reduce environmental risk and increase safety in airportS, to integrate different modes of mobility, and to develop urban mobility.
  • 11.7% will be invested in reforming the general education network and improving access to high-quality education. An important aim is to reduce early school leaving rates by improving career guidance and by producing innovative study materials.
  • 11.2% is allocated to boosting the employment rate to 76% by reforming the working ability assessment, by assisting people in finding jobs, and offering education, training and rehabilitation services. Regions' competitiveness of regions will be strengthened on the basis of county competitiveness plans.
  • 11.0% is dedicated to social inclusion to reduce the rate of people at risk of poverty to 15% in 2020, to promote the availability of higher quality health care services for the entire population, and to improve welfare and social services. Childcare options will be improved in the urban areas of Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. The underused urban districts in the larger cities of Ida-Viru County will also be developed.
  • 8.5% will be used to improve the competitiveness of SMEs through increasing the productivity per employee to 80% of EU average by 2020, by improving the export capacity and growth potential of enterprises, and by increasing the entrepreneurial activity in Estonia.
  • 8.4% will be used to help make the shift towards a low-carbon economy to stabilise energy consumption in 2020 at the 2010 level, to enhance the use of energy-efficient solutions in the housing sector and local infrastructure. Biofuels and clean urban transport will also be promoted.
  • 7.2% is dedicated to protecting the environment to meet essential requirements of the environmental acquis in the water sector by ensuring better access to good quality drinking water and more compliant wastewater collection and treatment; and to preserve biodiversity.
  • 3.4% of the EU funds will be spent enhancing institutional capacity to ensure a smart provision of public services through e-government services, to increase the competence of central and local governments, and to improve the policy making processes.
  • 2.4% is used to enhance the digital economy through ICT – for example by making fast broadband connections available, developing the basic service infrastructure, and promoting new e-solutions.
  • 1.6% is set aside for climate change adaptation to enhance risk prevention and management to better cope with emergencies resulting from climate change and extensive pollution incidents.

In addition, 3.1% is invested in technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

Some of the expected results (by 2023)

  • Increase of private sector R&D expenditure to 2% of GDP (2012 1.26%)
  • 8.4 million train passengers per year (compared to 4.2 million in 2013)
  • 75% rate of successfully completing apprenticeships (2013 50%)
  • 40% in employment 6 months after receiving labour market services (2014 36%)
  • 3,700 consultations in primary healthcare centres per 1000 people (compared to 3296 in 2012)
  • 15,700 exporting enterprises (compared to 11 281 in 2012)
  • Energy savings up to 45% in reconstructed apartment buildings (40% in 2013)
  • 95% of agglomerations with more than 2000 people meet sewage collection and treatment requirements (compared to 66% in 2012)
  • 90% of people are aware of public e-services (29% in 2012)
  • 60% of internet connections are at speeds of 100mbp/s or more (3.6% in 2012)
  • Decrease in the response time of marine pollution response vessels to 6 hours (still 12 hours in 2014)


  • Estonia


  • Cohesion Fund (CF): 1,061,534,677.00 €
  • Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 1,861,084,020.00 €
  • European Social Fund (ESF): 576,583,967.00 €

Thematic priorities

Financial information

Total OP budget: 4,655,679,786.00 €

Total EU contribution: 3,499,202,664.00 €

View the data

CCI number: 2014EE16M3OP001