The Estonian government has taken many steps in order to integrate minorities into Estonian society. Although some international organisations’ reports indicate to obstacles in equal treatment, still the integration policy during the last twenty years can be described as successful. The latest integration policy paper until 2020 has shown the Estonia is still paying greater attention to the integration policy and cohesion between Estonian and non-Estonian people.
Estonian Government has during the decades adopted different programmes in order to develop the integration policy. The main concern is connected with Russian minorities. Although there has been some criticism, still those programmes can be evaluated as successful.
The realisation of civil and political rights is sometimes connected with ability to communicate in Estonian. The language requirements seems to be one of the most crucial issue. Although the Estonian government is seeking for opportunities to offer language courses for minorities, it seems to be, that in some regions (e.g. eastern part of Estonia) still the Russian language prevails. Still the necessary information for exercising of the political rights are also provided in Russian.
In realisation of economic, social and cultural rights the possible benefits are not connected to citizenship, but to a right to stay in Estonia (permanent or fixed term). Accessing the labour market again the problem of language has been raised. Although there is no case law, still one can observe, that the knowledge of Estonian language gives to a certain extent a better position.
For the full text click here: Deliverable 4.5 Estonia – FINAL