The results of a survey commissioned by the office of MEP Yana Toom indicate that 53 percent of ethnic Estonians and 61 percent of the country’s Russian-speakers consider the breakup of the EU within the next decade likely or rather likely.
“It is a shame that Estonian residents’ outlook for the future of the EU is so bleak,” said Toom in a press release on Wednesday. She said that differences in opinion concerning the future of the EU could be observed even among young people up to 30 years in age.
In her opinion, the survey results could be explained first and foremost by Estonian residents having doubts about the capability of the EU to successfully solve the challenges with which it is faced.
“Both Estonians and non-Estonians find that Euro-bureaucracy cannot be considered an effective instrument for crisis management, whether for the economic crunch, influx of refugees or Britain possibly leaving the EU,” said the MEP.
According to Toom, people’s opinion on the future of the EU can and must be improved by improving the efficiency of European policy on the member state level — and this also included policy concerning Russians in Estonia.
“Of course a survey outcome like this is a clear signal for European and Estonian politicians alike,” she continued. “We must frankly analyze on which subjects we are able to fulfill the deceived hopes of European taxpayers and on which we can achieve acceptable compromises.” She stated that people’s frustration with the EU can be attributed to several factors, each of which required in-depth analysis.
“Yet in Estonia’s case, it is a difference in the approaches of Estonians and non-Estonians which stands out,” noted Toom. “It is for this reason that we have decided to initiate discussion on the subject of national minorities. When our country joined the EU, a number of issues related to national minorities, such as massive statelessness, remained unresolved and remain so to this day. Does the EU protect its national minorities today?”
According to Toom, this matter would be the subject of a debate she organized with MEPs that will take place at the Tallinn University of Technology on Thursday. The public debate will include Toom, Bulgarian MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins and Finnish MEP Nils Torvalds.
The survey commissioned by MEP Yana Toom’s office was conducted by interviewing 1,022 respondents about the participation of non-Estonians in public life, rights of non-citizens, and factors threatening the EU. The survey was sponsored by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party group in the European Parliament.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik