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Estonian community abroad wants more attention from state

  • 2018-05-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN - An organization representing the Estonian community abroad has called for the Estonian government and parliament to pay more attention to issues concerning Estonian expats abroad, establish the day of commemorating the great escape as a national holiday as well as include refugee topics in school curricula.

BNS hereby publishes the proposals of the resolution adopted by the plenary of the Estonian World Council on Thursday in its original form:

"In order to strengthen relations between the state of Estonia and Estonians living abroad, the plenary of the Estonian World Council makes the following proposals:

- To create a joint work group in the government that would handle issues concerning the Estonian diaspora and establish the position of a representative of Estonian expats, either a minister or secretary general;

- To restore the financing of the compatriots program to an extent equivalent to that preceding the 2008 economic crisis. The Estonian World Council wants at least three representatives of the Estonian World Council to belong to the program's supervisory board;

- To consistently include representatives of the Estonian World Council in the creation processes of all laws concerning Estonian diasporas and their successors. To inform the Estonian World Council according to the good custom of involvement if law amendments regarding us are under public discussion in Estonia;

- To establish an official Estonian diaspora committee in the parliament that will meet at least twice a year to discuss issues concerning Estonian expats, cooperation and strengthening worldwide Estonianness. The reports of the committee to be public and recommended to sectoral ministries. The state would be responsible for financing the committee and the committee would start work in fall of this year;

- To establish the day of commemorating the great escape as a national holiday. To erect a monument at the port of Tallinn for refugees of September 1944, when an unknown number of the citizens of the Republic of Estonia died.

- The Estonian World Council is suggesting that the Ministry of Education and Research introduce chapters in history and literature curricula that introduce refugee history."

The Estonian World Council also adopted a separate resolution, in which the council calls for the government and parliament to deal with the issue of teaching the Estonian language to Estonian children living abroad by submitting a list of suggestions for ensuring that.

The Estonian World Council in its statement recognized and thanked the parliament and government for their steps in promoting a democratic Republic of Estonia. "Estonia's success in the world is striking and deserves attention," the resolution said.

"Estonia's national independence, the sustainable development of its population and culture is also the central aim of the activity of the Estonian World Council since the establishment of the organization in 1954. Our member organizations and their representatives are like Estonia's citizen diplomats and image consultants, who are active daily in many countries in the world. The Estonian World Council as a global umbrella organizations stands for the protection of the joint interests of the Estonian diaspora both in Estonia and all over the world," the resolution said.

The Estonian World Council connects Estonians living outside Estonia who wish to make a contribution to the sustainable development of Estonia. Approximately 200,000 Estonians are currently living outside Estonia.

"The inclusion of the diaspora for the benefit of Estonia is an opportunity and resource the use of which is in the hands of the parliament and government themselves," the Estonian World Council said in its resolution.

The Estonian World Council is to hold its plenary sitting in Tallinn from May 3 to May 5, the focus of which is strengthening the relations between the Estonian state and global Estonians.