Education Ministry Sends Integration Program Back to Drawing Board ({{commentsTotal}})

An ethnic integration program that would have covered the period up to 2020 has been sent back for review as Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski said it was too narrowly focused on receiving EU funding.

"The plan should support integration [of Russian-speakers] in Estonian society and set forth measures for implementing these objectives, but as I see it the program does not meet the challenge," said Ossinovski (Social Democrats) in the daily Postimees. He said he withholding his ministry's endorsement at present before a white paper goes to the Cabinet for approval. 

He said the measures currently in the plan did not proceed from strategic development of integration but rather areas for which EU funding is available.

An example he cited is that 25 percent of the entire funding is planned for a new immigrants measure, yet there are quite few third-country immigrants in Estonia.