At its today’s sitting, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) decided to send to the first reading the amended appeal to the Parliament of Finland the Eduskunta on restoring the cross-border movement of workers between Estonia and Finland.
“Estonia and Finland have cooperated closely throughout the virus crisis in order to find solutions to emerging problems. We value this cooperation highly, and we thank the Finnish authorities for their assistance in bringing Estonian people home from third countries during the first wave of the virus,” Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said. However, he also admitted that, due to the usual labour migration between Estonia and Finland having been closed down since 27 January, the situation had become complicated for many Estonians.
“As the labour migration is open only for representatives of certain narrow specialities, Estonian residents who work in Finland for example under employment contracts have found themselves in difficult circumstances. These thousands of people work in one country and live in the other, and many of them have not been able to come home to their families in several months,” Mihkelson explained. He added that last month the Foreign Affairs Committee had discussed a collective proposal on the same topic submitted to the Riigikogu, intended to ensure the possibility of cross-border commuting between Estonia and Finland.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee Jüri Luik emphasised that the problem was acute and concerned many people and families. “In the appeal, we note that we are hoping to find confidence-building measures that would reduce the spread of the virus but would enable to restore the cross-border movement of workers between Estonia and Finland in cooperation between the two countries. If this should not be possible to full extent, a temporary regime that would enable workers to visit their families and to return should be found in cooperation with Estonia,” he said.
The Foreign Affairs Committee proposed to include the Communication of the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia to the Eduskunta of the Republic of Finland (322 PE) in the agenda for the Riigikogu plenary for the first reading on 22 April.
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