Culture minister: Integration in Estonia generally a consistent success

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Culture minister Anneli Ott (Center). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A lack of contact between ethnic Estonians and inhabitants of Estonia from other nationalities continues to be a cause for concern, culture minister Anneli Ott (Center) says. Ott added that on the whole, the integration process over the past 20 years has been a success.

Ott said Monday that: "Based on the monitoring carried out during the last 20 years, we can say that the integration of Estonian society has been a consistent and positive process.

"However, there are still concerns that need to be addressed, such as how to create and support a common space where people of different nationalities could have greater contact with each other, and establish stronger ties with Estonia," she continued, according to the ministry's website.

The Ministry of Culture presented the results of a study entitled "Estonian Integration Monitoring 2020" on Monday.

The research assignment was based on the sectoral development plan known as "Integrating Estonia 2020", commissioned by the ministry and carried out by think tanks Praxis and the Baltic Research Institute, Tallinn University, the University of Tartu and market research firm Turu-uuringute AS.  

The survey reported that there were many people in Estonia with strong state identities, that Estonian language proficiency has increased, while the Estonian language is seen as being important, and that both returnees and new immigrants adapt well in Estonia, among other findings.

Eight such monitoring studies have been held on the topic over the past two decades, the ministry says with independent studies carried out ever two or three years, and the results used to get a picture of developments in Estonian society and to plan assimilation, integration and other sectoral policies. 

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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