The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) would like to hand over the 17,697 signatures it collected against Estonia's participation in the United Nations Global Compact on Migration to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) at the beginning of next week.
EKRE started a campaign collecting signatures on petition website Petitsioon.ee on 12 November against Estonia's going along with the UN Global Compact on Migration. Altogether 17,697 signatures have been collected against joining the migration pact, the party said on Friday.
EKRE's chairman, Mart Helme said that public opinion in Estonia is clearly against joining the UN migration pact.
"The opposition is highlighted both by the signatures collected as well as surveys, according to which most of the population does not approve of joining the agreement. The parliament did not show overwhelming support of the agreement," Helme said.
Earlier in the same month, a poll commissioned by publications of media group Eesti Meedia indicated that Helme's claim that "most of the population" reject the agreement isn't quite accurate, though there still is a majority that rejects it: 56% of Estonians are against joining the Compact. After the Reform Party refused to take position in the issue, the Riigikogu's remaining MPs voted in favour.
"The government should also take into account that more and more European countries are abandoning the agreement, including Latvia. The leaders of those countries acknowledge that the agreement threatens the sovereignty of those countries to shape their immigration policy themselves," Helme added.
The government thus needs to pull out, regardless of this meaning the potential end of the current coalition, Helme said.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in social media post on Friday emphasised Estonia's support of the UN Global Compact on Migration, indirectly responding to a declaration of Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria) to the contrary.
"I trust the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' stance in support of the framework, and the clear assessment of the Chancellor of Justice of the Republic of Estonia that this is not a legally binding document. I also respect the decisions and guidelines of our parliament. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is guided by the parliament's statement of support of the migration framework on 26 November. It is not reasonable or necessary to reopen debates that have already been repeatedly argued through," Ratas said on Friday afternoon.
Editor: Dario Cavegn