III Roundtable of Political Parties
On 16th of February, the third roundtabel of political parties took place. The discussion focused on the assembly process of the state budget and how parliamentarians may affect the process. In regards to the parliamentary poltical parties, only the representative of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia was absent.
The aim of the roundtable was to hear the opinions of all political parties and gathering input on how to improve the transparency of the budgetary process and how to ensure that the subsidies from the state budget are distributed on common grounds. Furthermore, it was also discussed, how the legislator may contribute to the budgetary process and what does "transparency" mean when it comes to funding decisions.
A large part of the participants agreed that the parliament members do not feel that they have been given enough opportunities to take part in assemblying the state budget. However, the members of the parliament have been givent he opportunity to distribute subsidies. Distribution of regional investments seems to be strongly related to personal interests, but for NGO-s, it is essential to maintain independence and serve the public interest. At the roundtable, it was concluded that it is very difficult to assess the impact of the regional investments.
The roundtable was moderated by Erkka Jaakkola, Chair of the Board of Transparency International Estonia.