Estonia Approves State Budget for 2024 with Emphasis on Security
The Estonian government has finalized the state budget for 2024 along with a four-year strategy for the state budget.
Notably, defense expenditures will exceed 3% of the GDP for the first time, enhancing Estonia's self-defense capabilities and readiness to collaborate with NATO allies. The country will allocate over 50% of its defense budget towards procurement, positioning Estonia among the leading NATO nations in this regard. Estonia has significantly updated its ammunition reserves, bolstering its defense capabilities on land, in the air, and at sea. The Ministry of Defense will receive nearly €300 million in funding from 2024 to 2027.
Starting from 2024, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will receive an average of €9 million per year. This will enable the Police and Border Guard Department to increase its crisis reserve, including resources and opportunities for hiring police assistants.
Securing Estonia's borders and developing the eastern border remains a top priority for the nation. Therefore, a total of €15.2 million will be allocated for this purpose in 2024 and 2025.
The State Information Systems Department will continually receive funds for cybersecurity to conduct testing and training in cyber defense for government agencies and critical service providers, as well as to create a cybersecurity reserve.
The Tax and Customs Board will enhance its crisis readiness and expand its oversight capabilities for sanctions compliance.
The budget will also ensure continued financing for investments made in the previous year to protect the population and improve the crisis response capabilities of the Ministry of Social Affairs. This includes funding for the maintenance of evacuation supplies and the reliable operation of sirens for danger alerts.
Under the population protection framework, the Ministry of Social Affairs will consistently finance the healthcare and social protection sectors to provide assistance to individuals in crisis situations. Funds will be allocated for medical services related to disasters, continuous monitoring of infectious diseases, preventive measures, and crisis support for mental health.
In 2024, Estonia will provide €29.2 million in support for Ukraine's recovery. Additionally, Estonia will significantly increase its contribution to the European Peace Fund, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense planning to contribute approximately €6 million per year until 2027.