Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 7 January 2021
On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


The main governmental authority responsible for youth health and well-being is the Ministry of Social Affairs, where the responsibility lies with the Minister of Social Protection and in two departments:

  1. the Health System Development and Medicine Department,
  2. the Department of Children and Families.

The role of the Ministry of Social Affairs is to plan health care policy and organize its implementation and to ensure people's social coping and development and support the well-being of children and families.

The main Governmental authorities and their responsibilities according to the Government of the Republic Act relevant to the health and well-being of youth are:

  1. the Ministry of Education and Research: responsible for youth policy and education policy,
  2. the Ministry of Culture: responsible for sport and social cohesion and integration policy,
  3. the Ministry of Interior: responsible for crime prevention,
  4. the Ministry of Justice responsible for the justice system.

Main public actors and foundations of policy fields relevant to social inclusion are:

  • Chancellor of Justice, an independent official institution responsible for ensuring the rights of children would are protected,
  • Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner, an independent office responsible for the protection of equal rights,
  • Social Insurance Board, an agency of the Ministry of Social Affairs, responsible for the social insurance benefits and child protection services,
  • Health Board, an agency of the Ministry of Social Affairs, responsible for regulating issues with medical professions, devices, etc., and also for monitoring, prevention, and control of communicable diseases and risk analysis in epidemiology,
  • National Institute for Health Development, a governmental institution under the Ministry of Social Affairs responsible for health research and promotion,
  • Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, a governmental institution under the Ministry of Social Affairs responsible for data and IT systems in areas of the Ministry,
  • State Agency of Medicines, a governmental body under the Ministry of Social Affairs; main responsibility is the protection and promotion of public and animal health, through the supervision of medicines for human and veterinary use,
  • Education and Youth Board, a governmental institution implementing education and youth policy,
  • Foundation of Sports Training and Information, a semi-governmental body Under the Ministry of Education and Research responsible for sports information and professionalization in sports.

The main non-public actors:

  1. Estonian National Olympic Committee
  2. Sports For All, an umbrella organization for sports and healthy lifestyle promoters;
  3. Estonian Union of School Sport, an umbrella organization for local and regional school sports associations;
  4. Estonian National Youth Council 
  5. Estonian Sports Association Jõud is the national umbrella organization for sports associations of all the 15 counties of Estonia directing its efforts at sports movement and providing better conditions for sports activities.

The general distribution of responsibilities

In general, health and well-being responsibilities are divided between the central government and local government according to the different laws in different areas of the health and well-being domain. Most importantly:

  1. local governments are responsible for ensuring the maintenance of health and wellbeing institutions, sports infrastructure if it is under their ownership,
  2. child protection services provided is the responsibility of local governments,
  3. local governments are obliged to analyze public health and security situation and prepare health and well-being profile, that will be a base for the strategic plan,
  4. health services are regulated and financed in general from the central government level,
  5. the services in the area of sports are mostly provided via private and non-governmental institutions and supported via state budget.

Planning of the policy, financing and developing laws and regulations is the responsibility of the central government and its agencies.


Cross-sectoral cooperation

There is a mechanism established to ensure harmonized policymaking and implementation, which also covers the issues of health and wellbeing of youth. The central position in this mechanism - approving the propositions to develop a policy document or to change the existing one, monitoring implementation through action plans and their reports, monitoring cooperation and, in cases of need, initiating the cooperation - is granted to the Government and the Government Office. The Ministry of Finance also plays a coordinating role in planning, monitoring and ensuring the division of resources of different financial instruments including the state budget, in all the policy fields.

In addition, there are several permanent cooperation bodies established:

Child Protection Council

The Council was formed in 2017. The tasks of the Council are to:

  1. establish the objectives of the state child protection policy and to coordinate the activities necessary for the implementation,
  2. submit proposals concerning the protection of children’s rights and ensuring the well-being of children to the Government of the Republic and other relevant institutions,
  3. give relevant recommendations for cross-sectoral preventive measures of child protection.

The Council includes representatives of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, the Association of Estonian Cities, the Association of Municipalities of Estonia, the Union of Estonian Student Councils and the Estonian National Youth Council, as well as the Minister of Education and Research, Minister of Culture, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Finance and the Directors of the Social Insurance Board and the National Institute for Health Development. The chairman of the Council is the Minister of Social Protection.

Drug Prevention Committee  

The Minister of the Interior leads the permanent committee, the goal of which is to coordinate prevention work and reduce the availability of narcotics. Members of the committee decided by the government and committee is supported by experts working group.

Crime Prevention Committee

The Minister of Justice leads the permanent committee, which co-ordinates the fight against crime, including crime prevention. Committee members are Minister of the Interior Affairs, Minister of the Education and Research, Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Affairs, Director General of the Police and Border Guard Board, Prosecutor General. The committee is supported by an expert working group.