Estonian government’s English-language media communication remains infrequent

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas' getting voted out of office was reported by many foreign publications in a tone that suggested a coup rather than parliamentary procedure. This led to a temporary increase in English press releases by the government Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

While the government’s press office produced press releases in English at a relatively high frequency during Prime Minister Jüri Ratas’ first weeks in office, their number has recently dropped to zero. The priorities of Estonia’s upcoming EU presidency, though set in a meeting yesterday, have not yet been published in English either.

Amid concerns about the way Estonia’s politics were reported about in the foreign media, both members of the new coalition government as well as a broad range of Estonian public officials confirmed last year that there was a need to better inform the foreign-language press about the work of the state.

This led to a temporary spike in the number of press releases published in English. But what looked like a positive trend for a short time eventually turned into more of the same, with translations appearing late, if at all.

According to several government offices as well as sources in the Riigikogu, there are little resources available to officials that they could allocate specifically to translate releases into English. Considering the current media environment, with attempts by foreign services to influence elections in various countries by way of influencing public opinion across audiences, this is a situation the Estonian state might soon have to consider in more detail.

The priorities of Estonia's upcoming EU presidency are the most recent example. At the time ERR News reported on the outcome of Thursday's government meeting, no translation was available.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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