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A Conference Introducing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals took place in Estonia

14. April 2010 - 0:00

On Friday, April 9, 2010 a conference „European Union supports – media, language learning, collaboration“ organised by the Ministry of Culture and the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) took place in Tallinn (http://www.meis.ee/EIFkonverents2010).

The conference was opened by Laine Jänes, the Minister of Culture who acknowledged that the integration of new immigrants to the Estonian society is one of the important goals of the Integration Strategy 2008–2013 of the Government of the Republic. The European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals efficiently supports all the fields of the integration plan.

Estonian Ministry of Culture coordinates the work of the Estonian Integration Strategy 2008-2013 and is in charge of the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country nationals 2007-2013. The Ministry works together with the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) with the aim of initiating, supporting, and coordinating projects designed to promote integration in the Estonian society.

At the conference the Fund´s model Strategy for 2007-2013 was introduced, also projects financed through the Fund in 2008-2009, and procurements and competitions to be carried out with the Fund´s support in 2010.

The Fund’s primary target group is the third-country nationals of the European Union, also stateless residents which constitute 16% of the population of the country. The Fund has supported important activities of the Estonian Integration Strategy 2008-2013: language learning, including the creation of internet-based language tests, the development of language learning methodology for new immigrants,cooperation projects between civil society organisations of different nationalities, student exchange and joint activities, TV, radio and written media projects covering the country’s cultural diversity, development of integration process indicators, promotion of the subsidiary of the integration policies, including the delegation of integration related activities to local governments, exchange of experiences with other Member States and many more.

Up to now the Fund has supported 160 integration projects in Estonia in the total amount of 3.2 million EUR. In 2010 the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People as the actual performer of the Fund’s activities will organise 11 different project competitions supported by the Fund in the total amount of 1.2 million EUR.

It is good to know that by now 99.5% of the moneys allocated to Estonia by the European Commission have been handed out as grants. The financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals to eligible activities is 75%, to which 25-percent co-financing by the Estonian state through the Ministry of Culture will be added.