The Ethnic Integration Policy in the Baltic States in the Passed Twenty Years
It can be seen that Estonians now form 69 % of residents in Estonia, the biggest minority is Russians - they form 26 %. Other minorities each form less than 2 % (Baltijas valstis, accessed January 6, 2013).
In Estonia the biggest minority is Russians – the same as it is in Latvia. As Russians form almost one third of all inhabitants, it is no surprise that different ethnic conflicts may occur. Apart from conflicts about language usage, one of most known conflicts was about the removal of the Lihula monument: “In 2002 a monument was erected in the Estonian town of Pärnu to honour those who fought with Nazi forces against the Soviet Union in World War II. It was quickly removed after condemnation by then Estonian Prime Minister Siim Kallas” (The birth of the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia, accessed January 6, 2013). the removal was seen by more nationalist minded Estonians as a “downright insult, since for a number of years the government had done nothing to remove the Soviet war memorial otherwise known as the Bronze Soldier. The Lihula monument event thus became a motive for heightened rhetoric. This in turn helped to activate nationalist-minded Russian speakers” (The birth of the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia, accessed January 6, 2013).
Estonia restored its independence in 1991 on the basis of the legal continuity of statehood which as similar to Latvia: “not all residents of Estonia were entitled to get citizenship automatically” (Integration in Estonian society, accessed January 6, 2013).
The Estonian Government has taken a number of significant steps to further the integration process:
• “In 1998, the Government formed the Integration Foundation to support actions and projects directed towards integration;
• In 2000, the Government approved the State Integration Programme for 2000-2007 – a framework and a guide for the implementation of integration policy for governmental institutions;
• In 2008, the Government adopted the next State Integration Programme for 2008-2013. On 30 June 2011 the Government adopted the Action Plan for the 2011-2013 programme” (Integration in Estonian Society, accessed January 6, 2013).
- Current European Union Regional Policy
- Major Policies of the Union: Competition Policy, Social Policy and Regional Development. Current EU Regional Policy
- The Ethnic Integration Policy in the Baltic States in the Passed Twenty Years
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