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.
The last report of the integration plan is available HERE.