Kaja Kallas: Estonia needs to become attractive to emigrants

Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas. Source: Sander Koit/ERR

Chairwoman of the opposition Reform Party, Kaja Kallas thinks that Estonia needs to become attractive again to those Estonians who left. Ms Kallas said in a recent interview that the question is what it could be that would make these emigrants head on home.

In an interview with daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian), Ms Kallas suggested that having a way to get in touch with expatriate Estonians would already make a difference.

"If the state could get in touch with them—ask them once a year, as a reminder, whether or not they're planning to come back, if the state should provide places in schools for them, or in nursery schools, whether it should take them into account—then maybe thoughts like these would evolve into the decision to come back," she told Päevaleht.

Ms Kallas also thinks that anyone returning to Estonia after time spent working and living abroad has valuable experience to contribute.

"It's important that not everyone's spouse may be Estonian as well, which means that their children may hold two citizenships. We could allow dual citizenship for those children," she said, referring to currently still contradictory legislation in Estonia (see this reference piece on ERR News).

"The choice is either to be open, or to shut yourself off," Ms Kallas said. "There have been cultures that chose a very isolated path. But such a closed society ceases to evolve," she added.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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