Diplomats criticize amendments to Foreign Service Act ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Rainer Saks, Chancellor of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs
Rainer Saks, Chancellor of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs Source: ERR

Diplomats who sent a joint letter to both Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) and Chancellor Rainer Saks are dissatisfied with aspects of the Act amending the Foreign Service Act. They point to several bottlenecks which affect both the work and the organization of Members' work.

The new form of the Foreign Service Act (välisteenistuse seadus) primarily affects the life of diplomats so far. In the future, for example, they would have to deal with finding a place to live themselves - until now the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs did that, now the risks are on their shoulders and they have less time to focus on their main work. With this and many other changes, diplomats feel they have not been communicated with or considered, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported. 

Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Foreign Ministry Rainer Saks admitted that involvement has really gone very fast. "This procedure took longer in the parliament than we expected. That is why it has come with a taste of rush in the end. But we are trying to have a lively dialogue with our staff and to negotiate these implementing acts," said Saks. 

As the president did not announce the amendment to the law, according to Chancellor Saks, the implementing acts are now being reviewed. One that diplomats believe is that there needs to be improved are changes to the children's education system. Whereas until now it was possible for the children of diplomats to study in schools with the same curriculum in different countries, now the children should be placed in a general education school, except in places where the cultural background does not allow it. According to Saks, this is a budgetary decision. 

"It's a more financial decision right now, it's not a matter of principle for me. It is clear that if people can't put their children in a normal school, they don't want to go to a country where the child's education remains deficient, including these problems where one just wants to come back to Estonia to find a school. There is a disturbing number of children in this situation and they must be dealt with," said Saks. 

However, there are more changes that diplomats do not like - both the salary system and the principles of spouse's remuneration are changing. According to them, the system will become more complex and unequal. 

"We still try to negotiate with our employees as much as possible so that it is as unobtrusive as possible in the future, and yet the main goal is to make it more convenient and easier for people in the future, not the other way around," commented Saks. 

However, Chancellor Rainer Saks promises that the salaries of diplomats will not be attacked. 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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