Spring brought changes in the field of integration

04.08.2021 | 13:13

Since 1st of May, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for coordinating the new arrivals adaptation policy and organising the respective activities. Eda Silberg, the deputy department manager writes about how such a decision was reached and which topics were tackled by the Cultural Diversity Department.
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The first half of the year 2021 has been a busy period for the area of integration - the “Sidus Eesti 2030” (Coherent Estonia 2030) development plan was  prepared by the ministries and partners, we prepared a concept for regional expanding of Estonian language houses and we have launched planning the new period 2021-2027 of the European Social Fund. In the background we prepared an important change for the field – transferring the adaption field from the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Culture.


Change of government at the start of the year meant that the portfolio of the minister of population affairs dissolved. The minister of population affairs was among else also responsible for the adoption policy of new arrivals. To ensure synergy in adoption and integration policy development, the ministers responsible for the domains agreed the transfer of the adoption policy field.

Since the beginning of May, a ruling was enforced according to which the governance and tasks of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Culture were amended. The Ministry of Culture is now responsible for coordinating the new arrivals adaption policy and organising the respective activities.

This was a challenge for both ministries – finances, legal, IT, international relations, personnel, office, strategic planning, communication – the support units had to assist in the process over a very short time.

The Ministry of Culture has been responsible for planning and implementing the aims of the integration policy for 12 years. As adaption process is a part of integration process, it was wise that a single ministry is responsible for coordinating and developing both.

With the field of adoption policy transferring from the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Culture, the task list of the cultural diversity undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture extends significantly – developing and executing the development directions for adoption policy were added to the field of integration, as well as ordering adoption-related surveys and coordinating the cooperation between organisations, institutions and ministries related with executing the adoption policy. Coordinating the field of adoption is added to the main tasks of the Cultural Diversity Department.

Undersecretary for Cultural Diversity Piret Hartman: “The Ministry of the Interior had done great work in developing the field of adoption. This is an excellent opportunity for us to continue the effort as a team to make sure integration is even smoother, to support preserving and developing national minority cultures and thus develop Estonian linguistic and cultural diversity.”

Kerli Zirk, Anna Mäkinen, Jete Aljasmäe, Riina Ring, Merike Lepiku, Liisa Rohila and Marion Tamberg, who all assisted the development of the adoption policy in the Ministry of the Interior, developed adoption services and established functioning cooperation networks, joined the Cultural Diversity Department.

Eda Silberg

Deputy Head of Cultural Diversity Department