Here in Estonia, as elsewhere, immigration, or migration, is a keenly debated topic. Differences in stance on the UN's global migration compact sparked a governmental split in the previous administration late last year; since then, Estonia has won a non-permanent seat on the UN's security council, while incoming European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen has promised migration reform, at the same time recognizing it is part and parcel of a global society.
There are those who say immigration is both symptom and cause of a healthy economy, and further migration would give it a much-needed shot in the arm. It provides a solution to labor and birth rate shortages, as well as of course providing humanitarian aid to those most in need.
On the other hand, there are those who claim it is a one-way street, enforced by supra-national bodies like the UN and the EU, and can lead to a "balkanization" of a country or its society. Which side is right? Is a more subtle compromise the only way forward? Are we even talking about the same thing when we speak about (im)migration?
ERR News has assembled an English-language panel discussion at this year's Opinion Festival (Estonian: Arvamus Festival) in Paide to address that very topic, which will be live linked on this page, called "Immigration in Estonia: Benefit, natural necessity or threat?"
The panel consists of:
- Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) – Foreign Minister of Estonia.
- Peep Peterson – Head of the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL).
- Anti Poolamets (EKRE) – Riigikogu member.
- Leo O' Neill – HML Project Management.
Moderator: Andrew Whyte, ERR News.
The panel discussion takes place at 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Estonian time, at the ERR stage. The live link will be available starting 2 p.m. on this page, and the discussion footage saved for future watching.
Editor: Andrew Whyte