The Estonian Ministry of Culture initiated several discussion seminars to get input for the Strategy of Integration and Social Cohesion in Estonia (“Lõimuv Eesti 2020“).
„It was commonly agreed that integration is providing equal opportunities for every member of the society.” – Maiu Uus
The main keywords in describing integrated society were respect, mutual understanding, equal opportunities, diversity and promotion of it.
To the organisers’ surprise, citizens of European third countries were not aware of the activities and opportunities of the integration plan, and they did not know about the Eesti.ee site.
The proposals for the Strategy of Integration and Social Cohesion in Estonia:
- Defining the aim of integration and supporting of the third countries’ citizens by ministries.
- Direct contacts should be used when communicating with Russian speaking citizens of third countries, thus contact persons should be determined.
- Organising integration and participation trainings and information meetings for citizens of Ida-Viru County in Eastern Estonia, and to engage this region into the preparation of bigger development plans.
- Engage NGOs into the creation and implementation of the strategy of integration in order to have more flexible programmes, and to understand how the government can promote NGOs who work with the citizens of third countries.
- Initiate inter-institutional collaboration and coordination mechanism for the strategy of integration in order to determine the work allocation and responsibilities of different institutions in providing services for poorly integrated citizens.