National Strategy / Action Plan

There is no National Strategy / Action Plan in Estonia

national ESC(s)

There is no national ESC in Estonia


There is no Performance in Estonia


  • The National Commission for Sustainable Development is an advisory body to the government and consists of NGOs. No implementation plan for SDGs but SD indicators created for monitoring purposes.
  • CSOs were consulted on Agenda 2030 work in 2015 through conferences and events.
  • Sustainable Development Forum was organised in 2018 to introduce the results of the indicator based on Estonian Sustainable Development report.

Description of the initiative


    Lead government body
    Supporting government bodies
    National Economic and Social Council
    Sustainable Development Council
    Supporting government bodies text

    Inter-ministerial working group on SD

    Institutional framework

    Lead and supporting government bodies

    The National Commission for SD is an advisory body to the government. It consists of non-governmental organisations and its task is to monitor and participate in the implementation of national sustainable development goals and SDGs in Estonia. The Government Office Strategy Unit is the secretariat for the Commission, but the Commission itself consists of non-governmental organisations and is led by a president who is elected from among the members of the Commission.

    The mainstreaming of Agenda 2030 is planned alongside European Semester obligations and other international commitments.

    Strategic framework

    The National Strategy on Sustainable Development "Sustainable Estonia 21" (adpted in 2005) has the following objectives:

    • viability of the Estonian cultural space
    • growth of welfare
    • socially coherent society
    • ecological balance

    A  new long-term strategy, 'Estonia 2035', is being drafted. It will establish from three to five new long-term goals for Estonia taking into account the SDGs. According to the set timeline, the strategy “Estonia 2035” should be ready for approval by the government in April 2020.

    Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
    • Estonia has made use of existing structures and policy mechanisms inside the Government Office's Strategy Unit to mainstream Agenda 2030. The Strategy Director and the Strategy Unit also function as the coordinator for all SD policy issues;
    • Estonia does not plan to draft an implementation plan for the SDGs. Agenda 2030 and sustainable development goals are implemented through different government action plans and strategic documents;
    • SD indicators are the main monitoring mechanism for the SDGs. In 2017 the set of SD indicators was renewed and approved by the SD commission. An indicator-based sustainable development report gives information on Estonia's performance on the SDGs;
    • Comparative and  gap analysis comparing Agenda 2030 to the NSDS published November 2016 recommends Estonia to:
      • thoroughly update SE21 to reflect the new reality in geopolitics and advances in technological development;
      • update the set of SD indicators to measure Agenda 2030 progress;
      • simplify SE21 as a text but link the document to policy processes more clearly, including by establishing a single monitoring system, developing assumptions for ex-ante impact assessments, and establishing a forward planning system.

    Role of civil society

    Involvement in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
    • National Commission for Sustainable Development is the primary venue for consulting Civil Society Organisations
    • Government organised public seminar on SDGs, September 2015
    • Multi-stakeholder conference (government, organised civil society, employers, trade unions) on Agenda 2030 held in November 2015
    • Civil Society Organisations are being involved in the process of preparing the new long-term 'Estonia 2035' strategy. For example, more than 200 leaders, top experts, and opinion leaders from more than 130 private, third and public sector organisations participate in June 2018 in a seminar on preparing the strategy “Estonia 2035”
    Civil society platform for 2030

    National Commission for Sustainable Development consists of NGOs

    SD council or equivalent

    • Monitor the implementation of the global sustainable development goals and the national strategy for the sustainable development of Estonia;
    • Approve the list of Estonian sustainable development indicators for monitoring the achievement of sustainable development goals;
    • Submit proposals to the government and local government agencies and give opinions on long-term sustainable development issues;
    • Participate in the implementation of global sustainable development goals.
    • Membership: government (2+), employers (1), employees (1), various interests (20)
    • Meets 4-5 times a year and focuses on 1-2 central topics annually
    • Secretariat: Government Office Strategy Unit
    • Budget: budget covers the cost of the meetings
    • Joint meeting with Finnish NCSD June 2016
    • Publishes thematic reports, 2016 – 2017 planned to be about Agenda 2030
    • In December 2017 approved the renewed list of the Estonian Sustainable Development Indicators
    • In 2018 the Sustainable Development Forum together with the Government Office, Ministry of Environment and SEI Tallinn to introduce the results of the indicators based on the Estonian Sustainable Development report

    Monitoring & Evaluation


    UN SDSN SDG Index Country Profile

    Estonia ranks 10th in the SDG global ranking of 2019.

    • Statistical office publishes "Indicators of Sustainable Development" yearly, which is meant to stimulate debate on SDG implementation, help in setting further goals and provide an overview of progress achieved in recent years
    • 14% of 231 SD indicators measurable in June 2016
    • In December 2016, Statistics Estonia, the SD Commission and the SD working group collaborated to review the set of Estonian SD indicators
    • In June 2018, the Statistical Office published a report on the overview of social and economic developments in Estonia, with an specific focus on SDGs.
    Voluntary National Report
    • The Estonian Sustainable Development Commission reviewed the Estonian NSDS "Sustainable Estonia 21" in the light of Agenda 2030 and global trends as part of its VNR in 2016. The main challenges for Estonia are achieving productivity growth, developing an energy- and resource-efficient economy, lowering CO2 emissions per capita, and improving the subsistence of low-income people and tackling the gender pay gap;
    • It describes the main measures and plans for implementation of 17 sustainable development goals by government and non-governmental organisations. The report also presents an overview of the Estonian institutional framework for the coordination of sustainable development issues including the integration of three dimensions of sustainable development, incorporation of the SDGs into national frameworks, and creating ownership. A preliminary gap analysis of government policies and global sustainable development goals was initiated in spring 2016 and was used as a relevant input for the review;
    • Civil society was involved via the Sustainable Development Commission, notably during the drafting process.
    • It is planned that the new strategy 'Estonia 2035' (which is currently under discussion and preparation) will be reviewed each year in oder to allow to take foreign trends into consideration and to react to change efficiently and flexibly.
    • Estonia's Voluntary National Review can be accessed here.