On 26th of September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia began taking steps to make savings in response to the spending cuts in the latest state budget. As a result, 45 of the ministry’s staff will be cut and the work of the Consulates General in New York and San Francisco will be reorganized.
“In the detailed planning of the savings imposed on the ministry we were guided by the principle that we must continue to be able to fulfill our main functions, including actively implementing foreign policy,” explained Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna. “In preparing for potential cutbacks we analysed every unit in the ministry. Reducing the number of positions in the ministry will affect all of the areas in which we operate, as well as our representations abroad.”
The Consulates General in New York and San Francisco will be closed in summer 2024, with economic diplomacy and consular services aimed at the United States being reorganized. In the course of this restructuring, the Estonian embassy in Washington, D.C. will gain a consular diplomat and an economic diplomat.
“In order to ensure that our work is both effective and well-targeted, we are reviewing our network of foreign representations and our provision of consular services in the United States,” Minister Tsahkna said. “Business diplomacy and support for companies on international markets will remain one of the core areas on which we focus in the ministry, and we will be looking for ways of making them even more effective. We plan to expand our network of honorary consuls who offer consular assistance to Estonian citizens and help to promote Estonia’s business interests in the USA.”