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Project title: “Continuous Professional Training (CPT) in EU subjects”

Specific issues / chapters of the Acquis: Free Movement of Goods (Chapter 1), Agricultural Policy (Chapter 7), EMU (chapter 11), Social and Employment Policy (Chapter 13), Regional Policy (Chapter 21), Environment (Chapter 22), Financial Control (Chapter 28) and Financial and Budgetary Provisions (Chapter 29)

Country: Estonia

Recipient authorities: European Integration Office in Tallinn and Tallinn University of Educational Sciences

Project description:

The overall goal of the project was to upgrade the knowledge on EU matters for Estonians working in the public sector (centrally as well as locally) and other relevant groups such as people working within NGO’s, media, education etc.

This project is an integrated part of Estonia’s overall policy on in-service training for the above-mentioned groups in order to help implement the acquis. The project thereby assists Estonia in its preparation for membership of the European Union.

The immediate objectives were: (i) General skills upgrading on EU topics for the target groups and (ii) Training of Trainers. To ensure the dissemination effects of the projects, trainers are to be trained in these specific topics. These trainers will then be able to run similar courses for others in the target group afterwards.

The project was implemented from September 1999 to October 2000. The activities took place in Tallinn, Copenhagen and Bruxelles and were divided into 2 parts as described below:

(1) Horizontal issues:

“Specialised Courses for Estonian Journalists and Politicians “

The activities took place in Tallinn and Copenhagen and covered topics such as

  • the key players in the EU-enlargement; the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) among Member States

  • lessons learned from the previous enlargements and revisions of the treaties

  • an updated status of the 12 accession negotiations with the candidate countries

  • preconditions and consequences of Estonia membership of the EU

  • special focus for Estonia on agricultural policy

  • status of Estonian EU negotiations

  • European Affairs Committee in the Danish Parliament

  • services provided by the Danish Parliament’s EU information office

  • Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

  • relations between Denmark and EU. 
  • The evening of the EMU-referendum in Denmark, 28 September 2000, monitored at Christiansborg (Parliament), the day after the final result of the "No" and its consequences.

“Study tour to Copenhagen for 20 Estonian shadow lecturers”

The objectives of the study tour were to provide the Estonian EU-trainers with practical experience of the functioning of the EU and the interrelation between Member States and the EU institutions, to be used in the development of their own EU training. The group visited, among others, the European Affairs Committee in the Parliament (Folketinget), the Information Centre of European Parliament, the Danish Agriculture Council, the European Commission Information Centre and the EU information office of the Parliament (Folketinget).

“Project Management”

Seminars for civil servants and future trainers aiming at providing the participants with a basic understanding of methods and tools for project-management. This included project identification, project-management, financial tools and methods for evaluation, as well as particular knowledge of the different EU tender forms, administrative grants and the EU decision-making process - in order to make clear the application process for EU grants and the principles of project financing.

(2) Specific chapters of the acquis

“EU Agricultural Policy” (chapter 7)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at providing a general knowledge of the objectives and basic principles of the common agricultural policy (CAP), including common financing, common preferences, and FEOGA guarantee and structure sections. A presentation of the Rural Development Plan was included and special emphasis was given to the consequences of EU membership for the Estonian agricultural sector.

“Environment” (chapter 22)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at establishing a general overview of EU’s environmental policy, including principles of EU-environmental law; instruments of EU-environmental law; EU-administrative law, principles and legal implications; Environmental Impact Assessment; Integrated pollution and prevention control; Waste; Water-management and protection; Nature conservation and finally impact of the EU environmental policy on Estonia.

“EU Structural Funds and Regional Policy” (chapter 21)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at providing an introduction to Structural Funds (principles, objectives and procedures); SSP programmes (Special Preparatory Programmes) and their implementation in the candidate countries, including Estonia’s priority objectives; Implementation of Regional Development Programmes funded by EU, including payment from the EU, annual reports, financial control and also evaluation of regional effects.

The seminars were concluded with a workshop: a case of using a number of regional development programmes, including a breakdown of funds, a description of national public and private co-financing.         

“Free Movement of Goods” (chapter 1)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers, with topics such as Free movements of goods in the EU - custom duties and internal taxation - quantitative restrictions and measures with equivalent effect; Intellectual Property Rights and barriers to trade; Freedom to provide services within the EU - Right of establishment; Aims, methods and principles of harmonisation; Bilateral agreement and associations, the EEA agreement, the WTO agreements; The rules on competition: sources of information, general scope, extra-territoriality, market definitions; Intellectual Property Rights and licensing agreements; Mergers and merger control and finally state aid, anti dumping.

“European Economic Integration” (chapter 11)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at providing the participants with a fundamental knowledge of the EU economic integration – based on a historical perspective as well as various trends, theories and political approaches – in order to explain the present state and introduce officials to the substantial problems in regard to EU monetary integration and its effects.

Attention was made to the following topics in particular: Monetary policy in the EMU; EMU and fiscal and employment policies; Stability and Growth Pact; cost and benefits of the EMU; actual economic policy and situation in the EU and finally the economic perspectives of the enlargement.

“Social Cohesion” (chapter 13)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at providing an introduction to

  • Free movement of manpower; the original rules of free passage of production factors across the borders; from fragile rules of co-operation to EU-domination of union-legislation and policies;

  • Social Dimension, European Single Act, European Social Charter, Maastricht Treaty, Social Protocol, Social Agreement and British opt out, Amsterdam Treaty and British opt in

  • Commission strategies and action plans; Equal opportunities

  • European Labour Market Policy

  • Social dialogue

  • Labour law and implementation by way of Social Partners agreement.

  • Health and safety at work

  • European Employment Service (EUROS), European Social Fund

  • Union guidelines and National Action Plans

“The EU Budget and Financing” (chapter 28 and chapter 29)

Seminars for civil servants and trainers aiming at providing participants with a general and basic overview of the mechanisms for financing the EU including national contributions, own resources, lending, and with a basic understanding of the political aspects of financing. Likewise to provide participants with an in-depth and applicable knowledge of the budgetary structure, cycle and procedure as well as the main policy instrument