New Integration Strategy Takes Flexible Approach ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Screenshot of the Integration and Migration Foundation's website

The new immigration strategy of the Ministry of Culture focuses multicultural development and supports adjustment programs for new immigrants.

Previous strategies mostly targeted Russian-speaking permanent residents who were not Estonian citizens, but this group is not uniform, containing various groups with various degrees of integration, ETV reported on Friday..

The Strategy of Integration and Social Cohesion in Estonia “Lõimuv Eesti 2020” (Integrating Estonia 2020) targets the people who have not actively integrated to Estonian society, deputy secretary general for multiculturalism Anne-Ly Reimaa said.

This group includes all permanent residents of Estonia, including new immigrants.

According to Reimaa, adjustment programs are needed to provide new immigrants with information about issues like health care and kindergarten places, as well as Estonian language courses.

The strategy also focuses on multiculturalism: introducing the culture of various nationalities living in Estonia to Estonians and also introducing Estonian culture to residents with different cultural backgrounds.

Another new approach is “culture immersion” (similar to the already established language immersion studies), currently in a limited number of venues, where people can go to the theater, museums or exhibitions and get information in their chosen language via headphones, Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus said.

The strategy also names the creation of a shared information space for the community of residents, which involves developing and translating television and radio programs and online portals.