A broad-based discussion on the focus of a new integration monitoring took place today in the Ministry of Culture. The forthcoming monitoring will summarize the key indicators reflecting Estonia’s actual state of affairs in the field of integration. The Praxis Center for Policy Studies, together with researchers from TNS Emor and the University of Tartu will launch an extensive public opinion survey mapping the prevailing attitudes and mindsets and people’s coping in today’s society.

In the autumn a prominent national poll will be conducted with the aim of gathering fresh data that can be compared to previous monitoring results, the most recent ones originating from 2008. The poll will concentrate on the situation of education and the job market, civic identity and cultural openness, as well as the public’s level of being informed. Analysis will also tackle special regional features and adaptation of new immigrants to the job market and education system, as well as the attitudes of immigrants towards participating in civic society.

The survey results will be unveiled at the beginning of next year, and they can be used in preparing new draft legislation, programmes, informative materials, integration activities and the new sectoral development plan for the period 2014-2020. The gathered data will also provide input to forthcoming reports on integration processes in Estonia.

The monitoring team is made up of scientists and experts whose knowledge and prior experiences have given them the competence to map and analyze the attitudes and behaviour characterizing integration among Estonian population. The team members include, inter alia, scientists from the University of Tartu, represented by Marju Lauristin and Triin Vihalemm, Praxis analysts, led by Annika Uudelepp, who has coordinated several projects in the integration field, and survey specialists from TNS Emor.

According to the Minister of Culture Rein Lang, the monitoring is prepared as a joint effort of representatives from several state and research institutions. “The interest shown by institutions in participating in the monitoring process reflects the fact that the issue of integration in the Estonian society pervades many fields. Broad-based cooperation yields better results in supporting the integration process,” noted Minister Lang.

The Ministry of Culture has set up an extensive steering group for coordinating the monitoring process, comprising representatives from the Ministries of Culture, of Social Affairs, of Foreign Affairs, of the Interior, of Education and Research, the State Chancellery, Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, Statistics Estonia, International Centre for Defence Studies, the monthly publication Diplomaatia, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University of Technology and Tallinn University.

The survey commissioned by the Ministry of Culture is guided by the sectoral development plan “Estonian Integration Programme 2008-2013” and is financed from funds foreseen for the implementation of the Integration Programme.