The Riigikogu on Wednesday approved legislative amendments which will reestablish the Language Inspectorate as the Language Board. A new Education and Youth Board will also be established in the area of government of the Ministry of Education and Research.
The Language Board will continue offering all services previously offered by the Language Inspectorate. In addition, the new agency will also take over all language policy implementation activities from the Ministry of Education and Research and the Archimedes Foundation.
The Language Board will become the implementing body in the fields of monitoring and supervision, consultancy and development of the use of the Estonian language.
The amendment was passed 79-2.
The coalition Isamaa was the biggest proponent of the change, the council of which passed a political statement last November in support of the establishment of a language board.
Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) has previously said that the Language Inspectorate can only check language use and issue fines, and that a government institution is necessary that would have the right to manage the field, similarly to the Environment Agency and the National Heritage Board.
"The inspectorate has less power than agencies in other fields," Lukas said. "We want the [Language Board] to be a powerful fist in defense of the Estonian language."
The same legislation will also establish a new Education and Youth Board under the area of government of the Ministry of Education and Research based on the services of Foundation Innove, the Archimedes Foundation, the Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA) and the Ministry of Education's Estonian Youth Work Center (ENTK).
To be transferred from the Ministry of Education to the new board are activities of an operational nature that are not tied to policymaking.
Editor: Aili Vahtla