Mart Laar

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Dr. Mart Laar (born April 22, 1960) is an Estonian statesman, historian and a founding member of the Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes. He was the Prime Minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2002, and is the leader of the conservative party Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica. Mart Laar is credited with having brought about Estonia’s rapid economic development in the 1990s.

Laar’s reforms are referred to as the most thorough in the region and are occasionally used as a model for other transitions. The contributions to the study of transitions made by the Estonian reforms are often categorized as mainly three: lustration, economic reforms and geopolitical reorientation.

The results of the radical reforms have been recognized by Transparency International (which ranked Estonia the least corrupt country in the post-communist region), the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal (whose index qualified Estonia as the most economically free in all of Europe), the United Nations Development Program United Program (whose Human Development Index measured Estonia’s rapid rise in such quality-of-life parameters as education, health, income and environment ), and the Cato Institute, which awarded Laar the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty in 2006.

The Acton Institute awarded Dr. Laar their Faith & Freedom Award on October 24, 2007.

The World Bank's Doing Business project has several times recognized Estonia as the top reformer in improving the business environment. Estonia is currently ranked 17 (of 178 economies) on the ease of doing business index.

Mart Laar has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO).

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