On the motion of the Constitutional Committee the Bill on Amendments to the Citizenship Act (422 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected from the legal proceeding.
In the words of the initiators the purpose of the Bill was the acceleration of the naturalisation process. To this end it was wished to launch, besides the system of proficiency examinations, also a system of basic training courses in the national language. The compensation of educational expenses of the study of the Estonian language in the amount of up to 100 per cent would have been extended to the persons who pass the basic training courses. The procedure for acquisition of citizenship would have also been simplified for the applicants older than 65 years. In the words of the initiators of the Bill the new regulation would concern about 140,000 people. The position of the Constitutional Committee was that the amended regulation would enable such people to acquire citizenship who were not sufficiently proficient in the Estonian language. ?If 100 per cent of a tuition fee is paid not only upon passing the examination, but also in case of only attending the courses, it may reduce the motivation to learn the Estonian language to a much lower level than it is at present,? the representative of the Constitutional Committee Mart Nutt stated in his report. He added that with this regulation about 95 per cent of the applicants of citizenship would not have to fulfil the requirement for the proficiency in the Estonian language. 38 members of the Riigikogu voted for the rejection of the Bill, 15 members were against it, there were no abstentions.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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