The Estonian government on Thursday approved a proposal to direct over €870,000 of money earmarked for the relocation of refugees to be spent on other integration activities.
The government in a sitting on Thursday approved the Interior Ministry's proposal to direct €873,600 of the €1,092,000 planned for the relocation of refugees to other purposes, government spokesperson said.
Such activities could include funding Estonian language teaching to citizens of third countries, socialization people who arrive through family migration, work experience and volunteer activities.
A Spokesperson for the Interior Ministry told BNS that under the EU migrant relocation plan 329 people were supposed to be relocated to Estonia. The actual number of people relocated here was 147. Refugees mostly came from Syria and Iraq and were part of the EU's plan to spread newly arrived people amongst all member state countries.
As a result, a portion of the money for the acceptance of quota refugees was never used. The Commission did not seek the return of this money but allowed it to be used for other objectives.
As the money is channeled into project implementation, the state is obliged to add 25 percent of this amount, or €291,200, as co-financing to the EU grant. The co-financing will be covered from assets earmarked for teaching the Estonian language in the budget of the Interior Ministry.
Editor: Helen Wright