The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is meeting today in Strasbourg to discuss the report on Estonia, which highlights Estonia’s achievements in e-governance and cyber defence, and recommends reducing the number of stateless residents.
The head of the Estonian delegation and the Vice-President of the PACE Marianne Mikko said that the report on Estonia concluded that the democratic institutions in Estonia respect the rules of the Council, and that Estonia is honouring its obligations as a Member State. “I am very happy to see that Estonia’s achievements in e-governance and cyber defence have been noted and highlighted in the report,” Mikko said.
The report also discusses relations between Estonia and Russia, the situation of the Russian-speaking minority, and issues of citizenship. “Estonia is encouraged to work on reducing the unemployment and social marginalisation of ethnic minorities, as well as on reducing the number of stateless persons, including by simplifying the naturalisation process for long-term residents,” Mikko said.
The report calls on Estonia to join the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Member of the delegation Raivo Aeg said that Estonia has not done this because Russian is not a minority language or an endangered language in Estonia. “The Estonian legislation ensures broader opportunities to use the Russian language than the Charter,” Aeg said. He added that, instead of this, Estonia needs to solve the issue of getting a larger part of the Russian-speaking community to learn the national language and to get better integrated into the Estonian society.
Other topics at the PACE sub-meeting this week include protection of minority languages, Citizen’s Income, humanitarian consequences of war in Ukraine, Turkish military intervention in Syria, and the role of the Council of Europe in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
On Monday, the PACE elected the Italian Michele Nicoletti (SOC) as its new President. It also elected its Vice-President, with Marianne Mikko (SOC) continuing to serve as one. Mikko was also elected as the First Vice-Chairman of the Monitoring Committee. Yesterday, the Council of Europe elected a new Commissioner for Human Rights – Dunja Mijatović, the candidate from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Estonian delegation includes Marianne Mikko, Raivo Aeg, Andres Herkel, Eerik-Niiles Kross, Jaak Madison, and Tiit Terik.
Video interview with Marianne Mikko on the report on Estonia.
The PACE meeting will be streamed online (the discussion on the report on Estonia will start at 5.30 p.m.)
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