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The Minister of Internal Affairs Marko Pomerants replied to the interpellation concerning emigration of residents of Estonia (No 442), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Tiit Kuusmik, Kalle Laanet, Lembit Kaljuvee, Vladimir Velman, Enn Eesmaa, Nelli Privalova and Ain Seppik on 10 May.
Pomerants said that, as the Minister of Internal Affairs, he saw no problem in the emigration of residents in so far as the emigration is generally of temporary nature. It means that people return to Estonia. Nor did Pomerants agree with the claim that the situation regarding emigration was critical in the Estonian state. “In today’s globalising world, the free movement of persons from one state to another and looking for new challenges, whether working or studying in a foreign state, is a natural process,” explained the Minister. In his words, a great many European Union citizens use their fundamental freedom to move freely on the territory of member states.
In the opinion of the Minister of Internal Affairs, in most cases, economic considerations and also studying in foreign countries are the reasons for emigration of Estonian citizens. Emigrants are mostly young active people of 20–35 years of age. Middle-aged citizens of 36–49 years of age also go to foreign countries but their emigration is already less numerous. The main target countries of emigration of Estonian citizens are Finland, Great Britain and Russia, but also Sweden, Germany, USA, Australia and Canada. Estonian citizens who go to these countries now generally do not stay to reside there permanently.
Pomerants said that, in emigration to Russia, a majority are persons with undefined citizenship and Russian citizens who reside in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit. Some of them migrate temporarily to visit their family, and some go to live with their family members.
“I believe that it is an important added value for Estonia if people go to foreign countries for individual development and education. New knowledge and international experience certainly help such people to develop our life here in Estonia,” noted the Minister of Internal Affairs.
During the open microphone, Marek Strandberg and Toomas Trapido took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service