Jaak Madison: Current citizenship policy is the backbone to national independence ({{commentsTotal}})

Since the formation of the new government, meaning beginning last November, more changes have taken place violating national fundamental principles than during any other government, writes MP Jaak Madison (EKRE) in his opinion piece.

The foundations for the functioning of a state are a territory where the state exists and people who form its population. The core of the population consists of citizens who have been granted by the state both privileges (i.e. rights) but also the accompanying obligations.

One obligation before citizenship rights is for example to remain loyal to the constitutional order.

Based on this, every state has established certain requirements to obtain citizenship for those who are not citizens by blood [jus sanguinis]. In Estonia, for example, the requirement is passing a language and citizenship exam which demonstrate people’s ability to converse in the [country’s] official language and their awareness of Estonian history, culture and the Constitution.

Such a political direction has dominated since the restoration of [Estonia’s] independence, but now clouds of threat are gathering and new winds are blowing. Very bad winds.

Since the formation of the new government, meaning beginning last November, more changes have taken place violating national fundamental principles than during any other government. Beginning with the new Legal Aid Act with which the translation of legal aid applications is guaranteed at taxpayers’ expense and ending with the wish to lose the requirement of teaching at least 60 percent [of subjects] in Estonian in foreign language schools.

In less than the three months since the new government’s assumption of office, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has spoken of changing citizenship policy, i.e. the establishment of zero-option citizenship. If Jevgeni Ossinovski were the one to suggest such a thing, it may even be understandable (although the Social Democrats would like and support this), however coming from the new leader of the supposedly "changed" Center Party, it sounds appalling.

This actually proves, however, that the Center Party is exactly the same as it was during the Savisaar era and is essentially a pro-Russian party who depends in elections on non-Estonians who speak another language.

I’d like to remind all MPs — especially members of the Center Party parliamentary group — that we have given an oath of office with which we have sworn to remain loyal to the constitutional order. Thus with our work we must ensure the preservation of Estonia as a nation state together with its language, culture and ethnicity. All actions and statements which go against this principle are a violation of the oath of office.

If greed and addiction to certain interest groups begins directing viable policy, such a party and its MPs should not be allowed a place at the country’s helm.

Only just over 900,000 Estonians live in the Republic of Estonia. Under a million! Non-Estonians make up 25 percent [of the population]. At the beginning of 2016, nearly 80,000 stateless persons lived in Estonia on a permanent basis and the new prime minister would like to gift most of them citizenship as the Center Party’s constituency depends directly upon it. But even this only in a dream, as a number of signs point toward the opportunity to form a new political party based on Russian interests.

One can only speculate as to which direction those individuals will take who in decades have neither wished for nor wanted Estonian citizenship and would only receive it as a result of decisions based on the interests of one political party.

This is dangerous to Estonia’s independence, this cannot be accepted and this must be prevented by all means possible.

Dear head of government, remind yourself of your obligation and oath of office: our goal is to defend and develop the Estonian identity and the nation state, not political cynicism.
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Jaak Madison is an MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE).

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla