The Association of Estonian Cities (AEC) is a voluntary union established for representing the common interests and arranging co-operation of cities and rural municipalities. Ensuring development of local governments through joint activities is the main goal of the AEC.
The AEC was established on 19 September 1920. At present, all the cities, including the capital Tallinn, and some rural municipalities are the members of the AEC. The local governments belonging to the AEC cover more than two thirds of the population of Estonia and all Estonian regions are represented. The AEC is funded from the membership fees, the amount of which depends on the revenues of a member.
Responsibilities of the AEC are:
• Representing the interests and protecting the rights of its members in the governmental and other institutions, including negotiations with the central government;
• Working out the position of the AEC in the issues of local government policy;
• Arranging co-operation between local governments, their associations and unions;
• Enhancing co-operation and twinning with local governments and their associations abroad as well as with international organisations;
• Dissemination of information to local governments and counselling local government officials;
• Providing training for politicians and officials of local governments,
• Informing the public about the activities of the AEC.
The General Assembly, which convenes at least once per election period, is the highest directing body of the Association. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government. The General Assembly, which convenes at least once per election period, is the highest directing body of the Association. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
The Council convenes at least once per 3-month period. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
At the time period between the two General Assemblies, the Council of the AEC shall perform the functions of the General Assembly. The Council convenes at least once per 3-month period. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
The Board consisting of 7 members is the directing body of the AEC.
Chairman of the Board is Mr. Taavi Aas (Deputy Mayor of Tallinn).
Vice-chairmen of the Board are
– Mr. Mihkel Juhkami (Mayor of Rakvere City),
– Ms. Pipi-Liis Siemann (Mayor of Türi Municipality).
Other members of the Board are
– Mr. Georg Pelisaar (Mayor of Põlva Municipality),
– Mr. Heiki Hepner (Mayor of Kohila Municipality),
– Mr. Vladimir Šokman (Vice-Mayor of City of Tartu),
– Mr. Tarmo Tammiste (Mayor of City of Narva).
The AEC is a member of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA, 1925), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR, 1995), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE), the Baltic Sea States Sub-Regional Cooperation (BSSSC), and the Joint Consultative Committee of the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
The Association co-operates with many international organisations, networks and movements such as the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F), and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Healthy Cities Project.
The AEC prioritises close co-operation with national associations of local authorities in other countries: there are cooperation projects with the national organisations of the local authorities of the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium (Flanders), Finland, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, and a twinning project with the State of Maryland in the USA.
With regard to the EU integration, contacts have been established and maintained with the Committee of Regions of the European Union. The AEC provides information about the EU programs and is actively involved in the Local Governments Network of Central and Eastern European Countries for EU Enlargement (LOGON).
The bureau of the AEC, the executive director of which must be approved by the Board, manages the administrative work of AEC. Today the Bureau employs 11 persons. The main tasks of the Bureau are:
• To implement the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Governing Board;
• To provide assistance to local authorities, co-ordination and arrangement of co-activities;
• To arrange Assembly sessions, Board meetings and other meetings, to prepare necessary documentation and other materials;
• To collect, analyse and distribute the opinions of local authorities on draft legal acts of the central government;
• To arrange training programmes for self-government officers;
• To develop contacts and collaboration with the associations and organisations of local authorities abroad.
Today the Bureau employs 11 people and they are:
Mr. Jüri Võigemast, Director of the Bureau
Phone: (+372) 69 43 410
…, Deputy Director of development
Phone: (+32) 69 43 412
Ms. Inga Köster, Secretary
Phone: (+372) 69 43 411
Mr. Toivo Riimaa, Deputy Director, International Relations
Phone: (+372) 69 43 415
Ms. Hille Ilves, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation, Education, Culture, Youth
Phone: (+372) 69 43 423
Mr. Tiit Kirss, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation, Financial Issues
Phone: (+372) 69 43 414
Ms. Anne Läns, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation
Phone: (+372) 69 434 13
Ms. Irja Alakivi, Consultant, Environment, Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, International relations
Phone: (+372) 69 43 417
Mr. Kaimo Käärmann-Liive, Consultant, Public Policies, Legislation, CLRAE, CoR
Phone: (+372) 69 43 418
Ms. Aigi Sander, Chief Accountant
Phone: (+372) 69 43 421
Ms. Tiiu Madal – Permanent Representative of the Association of Estonian Cities and the Association of Rural Municipalities of Estonia
Square de Meeûs 1
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Address: Ahtri 8, III korrus
10151 Tallinn, ESTONIA
Phone: +372 694 34 11