Policy Profile Estonia


Estonia is a member state of the European Union and is therefore required to implement all EU directives, laws, regulations and policies, including those related to heritage and culture.

Estonia and the EU

The European Commission and European Parliament have Representation and Liaison Offices respectively in Tallinn. The Estonian Government maintains a Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.

National Cultural Policy in Estonia

At a national level, the framework for cultural policy in Estonia is regulated by the Vabariigi Valitsuse seadus (Government of the Republic Act, passed 13.12.1995) which established the Kultuuriministeerium (Ministry for Culture). The Ministry is composed of 8 departments – including the Arts Department, the Cultural Heritage Department, and the Cultural Diversity Department – along with the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO. Its work focuses on the development of cultural policy in the area of culture and on the principles of financing culture. On the other hand, the Kultuurikomisjon (Cultural Affairs Committee) of the Riigikogu (Parliament) works on the budget of the cultural sector, reviews the reports of the Minister of Culture and produces bills and laws.

The only governmental authority under the Ministry of Culture is the Muinsuskaitseamet (Estonian National Heritage Board) which values and preserves Estonian cultural heritage and culturally valuable environments. The Ministry cooperates with other institutions supporting culture. The Eesti Laulu- ja Tantsupeo Sihtasutus (Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation) deals with the development of national song and dance celebrations. The Eesti Rahvakultuuri Keskus (Estonian Folk Culture Centre) is in charge of the preservation of Estonian folk culture and intangible heritage. These two bodies were established under the Ministry of Culture. Finally, the Eesti Kultuurkapital (Cultural Endowment of Estonia) – legal person under public law – is the main institution (aside from the Ministry for Culture itself) distributing state money for cultural projects and activities.

Regional Policies In Estonia

Local authorities are responsible for municipal cultural and educational institutions and are financing local activities, initiatives, and non-governmental organisations. Association of local municipalities also plays a supportive role in implementing cultural policy at county level.

View all Estonia policies gathered so far

Go to other country policy profiles

* = This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. View more