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Basic National Defence Documents


The National Defence Act establishes a legal framework for efficient responding to the threats endangering the country as the need arises. The Act serves as the basis for the implementation of the national defence system arising from “The National Defence Strategy” according to which peacetime and wartime management systems are similar, as well as the implementation of the principle of the “broad understanding” of national defence. According to it, national military defence, the areas of government of all ministries, the participation of the society in national defence as well as the protection of the population of the state are integrated in national defence.

Basic documents


National Security Concept of Estonia

The National Security Concept of Estonia establishes the objective, principles and directions of security policy. Submitted by the Government, the National Security Concept is subject to approval of the Riigikogu. The National Security Concept will be revised or amended depending on changes in the security environment and development of measures for ensuring Estonia’s security. The National Security Concept constitutes a framework document, forming the basis for the preparation of specific development and action plans.

National Defence Strategy

The National Defence Strategy is based on the National Security Concept of the Republic of Estonia, which the parliament of Estonia approved in 2010. The National Defence Strategy is the basis for detailed defence planning.

The government approved the National Defence Strategy at the end of 2010. According to the strategy, all major Estonian state authorities must participate in state defence. In addition to military defence, the strategy specifies the support of the civil sector in military defence, international activity, ensuring internal security, securing sustainable provision of vital services to the society, and psychological protection as the main lines of action of defence.

The strategy is based on the principle that all authorities responsible for their respective domains during times of war must also be responsible for these domains during times of peace.

National Defence Development Plan 2017–2026

The National Defence Development Plan shall determine the priorities for enhancing defence capabilities and the requirements for such capabilities, based on the National Military Strategy, as well as long-term development programmes for military national defence purposes and general resource restrictions for the development of the structure of the Defence Forces and the Defence League.

The National Defence Development Plan shall be established, based on a proposal of the Minister of Defence, by the Government of the Republic, for a period of ten years and it will be reviewed, based on a proposal of the Minister of Defence, every four years. Prior to submission of the National Defence Development Plan to the Government of the Republic for approval, the Minister of Defence shall consider the view of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu.

Military Defence Action Plan


The Military Defence Action Plan sets out the measures for the implementation of the Military Defence Development Plan, considering the measures based on organisational expedience and ensured with resources that are in compliance with the requirements for development plans, as established under the State Budget Act.

The Military Defence Action Plan shall be established by the Minister of Defence for a period of four years, and it will be reviewed every year.


Emergency Defence

The Emergency Defence Plan shall describe the performance of military national defence functions, utilising the available military capabilities, in accordance with the objectives established in the National Military Strategy.

The Emergency Defence Plan shall be established by the Commander of the Defence Forces for a one year period, at the approval of the Minister of Defence.


Last updated: 16 February 2018