The European Commission's proposal that Estonia receive 1,064 asylum seekers was welcomed with skepticism at how the number was arrived at, as Estonia only accounts for 0.26 percent of EU's total population and 0.14 of its GDP. Here's how!
The quota is made up of the two major factors: the size of the population as this determines how many and how quickly member states can absorb and integrate refugees, and the total GDP, as large economies are generally considered more able to shoulder greater migration pressures. In addition, there are two corrective factors, applied inversely: the number of the asylum applications received and resettlement places already offered in the past 5 years, and the unemployment rate. In the latter cases, the higher the existing asylum application numbers and the higher the unemployment rate, the fewer individuals a member state should relocate.
Whereas the first two factors account for 40 percent each, the latter have a 10 percent weight.
And now for the numbers.
In 2014, Estonia had 1,315,819 registered inhabitants. Divided with the total EU population of nearly 507 million, we get the above mentioned 0.26 percent.
In 2013, the GDP of Estonia made up 0.14 percent of total EU GDP.
To get the coefficient of unemployment rate we first divide 1 with the 7.4 percent unemployment rate in Estonia to get the inverse, and then divided it with the total number of unemployed people in the EU: ((1 : 7,4) : 320 075 342) X 100 = 4,22%.
For the inverse asylum application effect, the formula first takes into account that between 2010-2014 Estonia received 425 asylum applications and resettled zero refugees. Divided over five years, this is an average of 85 people per year, or 64 refugees per million inhabitants over five years.
To create inverse effect: ((1 : 64) : 0,14940961) x 100 = 10.46%, when 0,14940961 is the sum of all inverse percentages of the 28 members states.
Because all those numbers have a different weight, the total distribution key for resettlement is put together like this:
Population effect: 0,26% x 0,4 = 0,104%
GDP effect: 0,14% x 0,4 = 0,056%
asylum effect: 10,46% x 0,1 = 1,046%
Unemployment effect: 4,22% x 0,1 = 0,422%
So, 1.63 percent of the 20,000 to be resettled in 28 member states is 326 people.
The relocation distribution key follows the same reasoning, but all calculations are done with 23 members states, excluding Italy, Greece, Ireland, Denmark and the UK, yielding a 1.85 percent migration quota for Estonia, or 738 people.
Editor: M. Oll