Asylum seekers come from Ukraine mainly

While more than a fourth of first time asylum seekers registered in member states of the European Union in the first quarter of this year originated from Kosovo, it is mostly Ukrainians who seek asylum in Estonia, figures released by Eurostat show.

EU countries received a total of 184,815 first time applications in the first three months of this year. Some 48,600 applicants or 26 percent were from Kosovo, 29,100 or 16 percent from Syria and 12,900 or 7 percent from Afghanistan.

Of the 50 asylum applications submitted in Estonia during the same period, 30 were received from Ukrainian citizens, which makes 60 percent of the total. Sudanese and Nepalese applicants numbered five each, accounting equally for 10 percent of the overall number.

Source: Baltic News Service

Estonian integration activities in 2014

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar introduced the 2014 summary of the “Integrating Estonia 2020” development plan to the Government of the Republic. The Government acknowledged the summary. The summary highlights the status of fulfilling strategic and area-specific objectives as well as the used funds in 2014.

Development plan “Integrating Estonia 2020” serves as a basis for the implementation and funding of the integration policy for the period of 2014-2020. The general objective of the development plan is to have the Estonian society integrated and socially cohesive, to have people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds actively participating in the society and sharing democratic values.

“The most significant initiatives of the last year were the decision to create a Russian language television channel as well as developing the conditions of the support measures of the European Social Fund for supporting permanent residents less integrated into the Estonian society and new arrivals. A recommended model has also been developed for transitioning to Estonian as a language of instruction in basic schools,” explained the Undersecretary for Cultural Diversity to the Ministry of Culture Anne-Ly Reimaa. “The language immersion programme, preparing the Russian module for the “Jurist aitab” interactive portal and many other activities also continued,” Reimaa added.

In 2014, all target levels in citizenship, general education and employment were fulfilled. For example, the number of persons with undetermined citizenship decreased and 1,611 people were granted Estonian citizenship under naturalisation. The average final examination results in Estonian among students with a native language different from Estonian also improved and the share of 18–24 year old people with a native language different from Estonian and with a low level of education decreased. The employment rate decreased among Estonians as well as among other nationalities and the employment gap between Estonians and employees of other nationals decreased as well.

The average results of final examinations of basic school in Estonian as a second language has a slight decrease from 68 points to 67.1 points. The employment rate of residents of other nationalities also declined from 60.3% to 59.2%.

A detailed implementation plan for 2014-2017 complements the “Integrating Estonia 2020” development plan. The size of the 2014 budget of the implementation plan was 3,440,000 euros. In addition to the Ministry of Culture, in 2014, the measures and activities of the development plan were also funded by the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

Source: Ministry of Social Affairs

Emigration from Estonia decreased in 2014

According to Statistics Estonia, 4,637 persons emigrated from Estonia and 3,904 persons immigrated to Estonia in 2014. The volume of emigration was 30% smaller than in the previous three years.

53% of the emigrants and 44% of the immigrants were females. In 2014, the net migration of males was positive – 14 more men came to live in Estonia than moved abroad from Estonia. The previous time that the net migration of males was positive was in 2009.

Diagram: External migration by sex, 2005–2014

In all age groups, the number of emigrants in 2014 was smaller than in the previous years. The majority of the people emigrating from Estonia are persons aged 20–34 and the people immigrating to Estonia are mainly aged 25–39. Compared with the previous years, there were more immigrants aged 30 and over. There were fewer 15–29-year-olds among immigrants than in 2013. Net migration was positive (there were more people taking up residence in Estonia than those leaving Estonia) in two age groups: among children aged 0–4 and persons aged over 60. Population loss was the greatest among 5–14-year-olds and 20–29-year-olds, while in other age groups characterised by active migration there has been a considerable decrease in the number of emigrants. Among persons aged 30–34, net migration is more or less in balance. The net migration of persons aged 35–59 was negative; however, the population of this age group decreased significantly less than in the previous years.

By country, migration is the most active between Estonia and Finland. 3,051 persons emigrated from Estonia to Finland and 1,290 persons immigrated to Estonia from Finland. Net migration was two times smaller than in 2013. Popular destination countries, in the case of which our net migration is negative, are also Germany and Sweden. Among countries with which our net migration was positive, the greatest number of immigrants came from Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

By citizenship, 65% of the immigrants were citizens of Estonia, 11% citizens of Russia, and 24% were citizens of other countries. Compared with the previous years, the share of Estonian citizens among immigrants has increased and the share of Russian citizens has decreased. The share of Estonian citizens among emigrants was 93%.

53% of the immigrants take up residence in Harju county; of them, over 80% move to Tallinn. Among other counties, the ones gaining the greatest number of inhabitants through immigration from abroad are Ida-Viru (10%), Tartu (10%) and Pärnu (6%) counties. People emigrating from Estonia mostly originate from Harju county (45% of the emigrants), but a significant number of emigrants also come from Tartu county (14%). Net migration is positive in Harju county and the city of Tallinn (with people moving to the county from abroad outnumbering those moving abroad from the county), but only by fewer than 100 people. Among counties, net migration is the most negative in Tartu county (–254). Emigrants outnumber immigrants also in Pärnu and Viljandi counties.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Russian-language TV channels plan cooperation

Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) and Latvian Public Service Television (LTV) concluded a cooperative agreement on March 31 to work together towards implementing the collaborating activities to develop Russian-language TV channels in both countries.

Both channels will be independent in their program selection, with focus on local life. However, common interests will be looked for in the areas where co-operation could lead to achieving better results and help save money.

“It goes without saying that the information field that originates from Russia and is created by the Russian-language media in Estonia, Latvia and other Eastern and Central European countries, needs balancing,” said Margus Allikmaa, ERR’s chairman of the board.

“Russian-speaking population in these countries deserves quality journalism that is based on a variety of sources. They also deserve TV programs, which are more closely connected to the local life. Estonia has decided to launch its own Russian-language TV channel and Latvia now has plans to do the same. As the Estonian and Latvian public broadcasting organisations share common objectives, all kind of cooperation that would help to improve the quality of the Russian-language information field, is justified and reasoned.” he said.

The cooperative agreement offers both broadcasters an opportunity to exchange programs and films, train employees and market their channels.

“We’re pleased that we agreed on such important issues as content production and purchasing, as well as personnel training,” said Latvian Public Broadcast’s Chairman of the Board Ivars Belte, adding that the unifying factor in both channels are a common mission and values.

Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) only made the decision to create a third LTV channel on March 19. It will launch next year.

The launch of ERR’s Russian-language TV channel is scheduled for the end of September.

Source: ERR News

Businessman: Estonia is a donor of rich countries

Commenting the recent report by CEED, businessman Indrek Neivelt writes that Estonia’s problem is that it is not receiving assistance from, but contributes to richer countries.

„We are a donor for richer countries,” Neivelt wrote in his blog after the CEED institute published its report “A one-way ticket? Migration in Europe from the perspective of CEE countries” which shows that 5.7 percent of the Estonian population have left Estonia mainly to „Old Europe” in the last decade.

Read more from BBN

Russian, Belorussian opposition launching TV channel in Estonia

Russian and Belorussian opposition leaders are set to launch a Russian-language TV channel in Estonia, tasked with fighting against Kremlin propaganda in Eastern Europe.

The station will initially air online three times a week, but is planning to expand in April, Delfi reported.

The station is being bankrolled by the Danish government’s MyMedia program.

“Aru.tv is aimed at people in Russia and the Russian-speaking populations of the Baltic nations, Ukraine and Belarus. The main goal of the people behind the project is to offer propaganda-free information,” Pavel Morozov, one of the founders of the station, said. It is his second attempt at such an idea.

Artemy Troitsky, a Russian music critic who recently moved to Tallinn due to his anti-Kremlin views, is also heavily involved.

ERR, the public broadcaster, has unveiled plans for its own Russian-language television station, which should launch in September.

Source: ERR News via Estonian Review

E-residency most popular among Finns and Russians

As of mid-January, Estonia had issued e-residency to 463 of the 650 applicants. The number of e-residents should be above 500 by now.

Estonian interior minister Hanno Pevkur said that the largest number of new e-residents came from Finland (239), followed by Russia (118), Latvia (39), the US (36) and the UK (24).

“We have also received applications from Venezuela, Sri Lanka and Mexico. It has gone rather well. Once we start to issue the digital ID cards in embassies, the number should increase much faster,” he said.

People who wish to apply for e-residency must currently travel to Estonia for a short period of time.

Source: ERR News via Estonian Review

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