New coalition: No change in citizenship and migration policies

SDE chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski, Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas, and IRL chairman Margus Tsahkna in Kadriorg on Thursday morning. (Rene Suurkaev/ ERR)
11/20/2016 5:05 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

The new coalition announced that it would continue with Estonia’s present citizenship policy. It also declared that it didn’t and wasn’t planning to support the European Union’s migration quotas, and with it the redistribution and resettlement program.

In the coalition agreement approved by the Center Party, the Social Democrats, and IRL on Saturday, the three parties confirm their intention to maintain Estonia’s present citizenship policy. This means that children born to stateless parents in Estonia will become Estonian citizens by naturalization at the moment of birth.

Also, all children of undetermined citizenship under 15 years of age will become Estonian citizens by naturalization. Minors with more than one citizenship must decide themselves when they reach adulthood which citizenship they want to give up.

The government coalition also wants to guarantee quality Estonian-language courses to Russian-speaking residents to help raise their Estonian proficiency to the necessary level. “We will establish Estonian language houses in Narva and Tallinn that will offer free Estonian courses, develop language materials, and so on,” the agreement states.

Raising the quality of Estonian proficiency in kindergartens and schools will become a national priority, and the coalition promises to guarantee access to necessary study materials as well as carry out teacher training.

The new government also wants to raise awareness among Russian-speaking residents of the legal environment as well as guarantee access to legal aid.

New coalition doesn’t support migration quotas

In the agreement the coalition also confirms that it would continue with Estonia’s present migration policy, and that it doesn’t support the obligatory quota system for the relocation and resettlement of asylum seekers.

The coalition also wants to provide security authorities with the necessary means to counteract activities that pose a danger to Estonia’s security, and to contribute to cooperation with Estonia’s allies in terrorism prevention.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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