Back

Country Reports

Estonia Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

In April 2019, the Estonian parliament approved the coalition government comprising the centre-left Centre party, the far-right EKRE, and the centre-right Pro Patria. At times, adoption of legislation is likely to be protracted and policy reversals are probable because of disagreements due to the different political profiles of the coalition partners. Estonia is likely to maintain policy continuity regarding initiatives to boost employment and defence spending. Most establishment parties agree on positioning Estonia as a business-friendly country firmly within NATO structures. Projects such as the Baltic gas connector with Finland, the EU-funded integration into the EU electricity system and Rail Baltica's construction should remain a priority. Estonia's relations with Russia are likely to remain damaged by Estonia's ongoing pursuit of NATO integration and economic, infrastructure, and energy diversification away from Russia. Although the risk of full-blown war between Russia and Estonia is minimal, owing to the former's costly and extensive military engagements elsewhere and the latter's NATO membership, Russian military aircraft activity over the Baltic Sea and increased Russian naval presence in the territorial waters of all three Baltic states are likely to continue. Estonia is a highly digitalised country, increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks likely to target critical national infrastructure, governmental websites, financial institutions, and media outlets.Improved performance in higher-value-added sectors of the economy, rising investment, and growing purchasing power are expected to maintain economic growth despite rising unit labour costs and weakening global demand. After rising 3.9% in 2018, we forecast economic growth to decelerate to approximately 3% in 2019, and to decelerate further in 2020. Downside risks stem mainly from decreasing foreign demand and lack of qualified labour force. The higher-value-added sector is likely to be affected by the scarcity of skilled staff and slower global demand, counterbalanced by efforts to enter higher-value-added business segments.
Last update: June 7, 2019

Operational Outlook

Estonia is a very business-friendly country. The favourable-to-businesses tax system, relatively low level of social unrest, and stable political scene offer a good business environment. Estonia is focused on ICT, and the state authorities are investing in increasing internet literacy and in improving online information services. The quality of roads is around the EU average, but railways require modernisation and expansion. The port infrastructure is well developed. The labour force is well educated but becoming increasingly expensive. Strikes are usually peaceful and not very disruptive; sympathy strikes are unlikely.

Last update: June 22, 2019

Terrorism

Moderate

Animal activists and far-right groups are the most likely perpetrators of violence, with moderate risks of vandalism against animal research laboratories or fur shops and injury risks to minorities and refugees. The risk of jihadist terrorist attacks is low. In 2016, a court sentenced two Russian citizens, permanent Estonian residents, for supporting Islamic terrorism. This was rather an isolated incident, however, and does not indicate an increased terrorist threat within the country. Cyber attacks, perpetrated by Russian individuals or groups acting with the tacit approval (but not necessarily direction) of the Kremlin, are likely.

Last update: June 21, 2019

Crime

Estonia faces a steady, if not overt, threat from organised domestic and cross-border crime. Organised crime focuses on drug smuggling into the EU, and Russian and Chechen criminal interests operate in areas such as Tallinn and Narva. Judicial reforms have made counter-narcotics structures stronger but, because Estonia's borders with Finland, Scandinavia, and Latvia were opened when the Baltic states joined the EU's Schengen zone in 2007. However, this occurred in tandem with an improvement in controls on the EU's new eastern border, which mitigated crime risks.

Last update: May 8, 2019

War Risks

Relations with Russia are made tense by the increased presence of NATO forces in Estonia and disputes over the rights of the Russian minority in the country. The border treaty remains unratified by the Russian and Estonian parliaments. Estonia has been erecting a fence and deploying surveillance equipment along the border with Russia, which will most likely generally improve the security situation in Estonia. Interstate war is highly unlikely because of Estonia's NATO membership and Russia's involvement in Syria. Cyber espionage and cyber attacks against Estonia are likely.

Last update: May 8, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

The risk of non-violent protests by ethnic Russians is likely to increase and there is potential of instigation by Kremlin-backed provocateurs. If they occur, such demonstrations are likely to remain peaceful and will receive limited backing from the wider population, currently unlikely to replicate the hybrid warfare seen in Eastern Ukraine. Non-violent economic protests are probable before and after the introduction of planned excise duties increase. However, these are likely to remain contained to a few hundred of people in large cities, such as Tallinn, Tartu, and Narva. Peaceful environmental demonstrations are likely.

Last update: May 8, 2019

Health Risk

Elevated

Vaccines required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for most travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is continental in the interior of the country and temperate along the coasts thanks to the presence of the Baltic Sea. Summers are relatively hot and winters are cold, sometimes harsh, with temperatures falling as low as -30°C. Muddy conditions are common in the spring due to the melting of winter snows.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +372
Police: 112
Ambulance: 112
Fire Dept.: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019