Overview and recent developments

Estonia did not make any major changes to its regulatory framework in the past three years. In line with the “Guidelines for development of legislative policy until 2018” adopted in 2012, preliminary RIAs are prepared for all primary laws and selected subordinate regulations. For regulations with significant impacts, in-depth RIAs are conducted.

Estonia places a strong focus on accessibility and transparency of regulatory policy by making use of online tools. The online information system EIS tracks all legislative developments and makes available RIAs. Estonia currently works on an improved version of EIS. The interactive central website displays all ongoing public consultations, but is not widely used and linkages to EIS could be strengthened. Later-stage consultation is conducted for all regulations. Public online consultations to inform officials about the nature of the policy problem and identify policy options are conducted in some cases.

Ex post evaluation is mandatory for some regulations since 2012. The completion of first evaluations is planned for 2018. Estonia could support the implementation of its ex post evaluation requirements by embedding stronger capacity to scrutinise the quality of ex post evaluations into the existing framework.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Legislative Quality Division of the Ministry of Justice takes the lead role in regulatory oversight in Estonia. It reviews the quality of RIAs and can return them for revision if their quality is deemed inadequate. The Division is also responsible for the systematic improvement and evaluation of regulatory policy. The Minister of Justice reports annually to parliament on the application of Better Regulation principles, including the compliance of RIAs and stakeholder engagement practices with formal requirements. The body also issues guidelines for RIA and scrutinises the legal quality of draft regulations. The Strategy Unit at the Government Office of Estonia complements this work by co-ordinating stakeholder engagement in policy making across government. The Legal and Research Department of the Estonian Parliament provides opinions and advice on the legal quality of draft laws at the request of parliamentary committees.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Estonia, 2018

Notes: The more regulatory practices as advocated in the OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance a country has implemented, the higher its iREG score. The indicators on stakeholder engagement and RIA for primary laws only cover those initiated by the executive (86% of all primary laws in Estonia).

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017,


Location of regulatory oversight functions: Estonia

Regulatory oversight functions

Centre of government

Ministry of Finance, Economy or Treasury

Ministry of Justice

Other ministries

Non-departmental body


Office of the Attorney General

Supreme audit institution

Part of the judiciary

Quality control of…


Stakeholder engagement

Ex post evaluation

Identifying policy areas where regulation can be made more effective

Systematic improvement of regulatory policy

Co-ordination of regulatory policy

Guidance, advice and support

Scrutiny of legal quality

Notes: ⚫ indicates that a given regulatory oversight function is covered by at least one body in a particular location. Data present the situation as of 31 December 2017 and do not reflect changes that may have taken place in 2018.

Source: Survey questions on regulatory oversight bodies, Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Survey 2017,

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