Madise: In many countries, people's fear of mass immigration underestimated

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise.
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. Source: ERR

What can be learned from the tensions sparked by the UN Global Compact for Migration is that people's fear of mass immigration has been underestimated, both in Estonia and other countries, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise said on ETV broadcast Esimene stuudio.

According to Madise, this fear is justified, as throughout history, the Estonian people have been battered time and again, and Estonia has firsthand experience with mass immigration.

"And so this fear is entirely justified, and cannot under any circumstances be discredited," she said. "On the contrary — this must always be taken into consideration, and with reverence. And now on the other hand, while you cannot ignore this fear, you also mustn't abuse it either."

The Chancellor of Justice noted that it can be seen in a number of different countries that those who were involved in the drawing up of the migration compact and have a better understanding of what these hundreds of UN papers mean or don't mean had rightly hoped that no dispute could possibly come of this matter that was no big deal.

"But at the same time, others have a very logical question — if this is no big deal, then why has it nonetheless given rise to dispute?" she continued. "And it seems to me as though one side has underestimated, ignored and perhaps even discredited the people's completely justified emotions, and the other again has possibly abused these same emotions."

Madise added that if anyone abuses these justified fears of the people for short-term political gains, she did not believe that this behaviour is in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution, nor is it good or right from the standpoint of the future of the Estonian people.

According to the Chancellor of Justice, the migration compact is not an example of an indicative and clear text, but it does clearly state that it is not legally binding, and that all member states party to the compact will retain their right to decide whom to let into their country.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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