Estonia - 2012 CSO Sustainability Index


Civic activism in Estonia improved considerably in 2012. The Dirty Money controversy, in which the ruling Reform Party was accused of arranging for questionable donations to be made to the party, garnered widespread support for more transparency and openness within the political system. In addition, the media widely discussed civil society issues this year. Despite these improvements, some believe that the public sector’s willingness to respond to the needs and complexity of the CSO sector has decreased.

The Estonian economy continued to grow by 3.4 percent in 2012, making it the second fastest growing economy in the European Union. The unemployment rate returned to single digits for the first time since 2008. However, the CSO sector’s funding has been slow to recover in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Approximately 30,000 nonprofit associations and foundations are registered in Estonia. More than 2,000 new organizations were established in 2012 and nearly 3,000 defunct organizations were deleted from the registry. The large number of liquidated CSOs was largely due to the fact that organizations that failed to submit annual reports for two consecutive years were deleted from the registry this year. This change helps to align official data on CSOs with reality.

Last updated: July 11, 2013