Skip navigation


Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas replied to the interpellation concerning the migration of talents (No 430), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Mihhail Korb, Enn Eesmaa, Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman, Peeter Võsa, Eldar Efendijev, Kalev Kallo, Urbo Vaarmann, Viktor Vassiljev, Siret Kotka and Kadri Simson on 15 September.

The interpellators referred to the competitiveness table of the World Economic Forum, published at the beginning of September, in which Estonia ranked 29th in the comparison of 144 countries. It has risen three positions in comparison to last year but still there are areas in which Estonia can be found among the last. Especially worrying is the capacity of the Estonian state to attract talent, and its capacity to also retain talent. In that category, Estonia ranks only a few places above the 100th position. The interpellators wished to know if the Government had developed motivational packages that would attract new talents as well as those who have left.

Rõivas said that amendments had been made to the Aliens Act, which simplifies the conditions for studying, working and settling in Estonia for top specialists, scientists, teaching staff and students and their family members. Also, amendments are being prepared at present which would allow for a simpler transition from one type of residence permit to another. For example, in order that the best foreign students could start their working life here, in Estonia. An action plan that is integrated with several other existing strategies is being developed in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

The Prime Minister mentioned the international outreach strategy for higher education which aims to bring more foreigners to study at the Estonian universities. Talents who can be involved in the Estonian economy and science can of course most easily be found among students.

“An adaptation programme that will help the people who come to Estonia to adapt to the life here is being developed at present, intended for foreign students as well as other immigrants. For example, the family members of other nationalities who migrate with returned Estonians or wish to do so can also join this programme,” Rõivas said. 

When speaking of competitive remuneration, Rõivas said: “The amount of remuneration depends on what the Estonian enterprises produce and how they do it. Remuneration can only grow together with a growth in productivity. For that, enterprises will of course have to update their production and products, and to invest,” Rõivas explained. He said that the Government can contribute to our business environment being as attractive as possible, and to our education being as high-level as possible. Earlier Governments have also done so, and it will certainly be done in the future, too.

The Prime Minister noted that, much more important than a place in a ranking, is to see a rise in the standard of living of the Estonian people, the productivity of the Estonian enterprises and consequently the salaries paid, the tax revenue collected through salaries, and thereby also pensions and social benefits. In Rõivas’s words, very much depends on how educated, how open and how innovative the Estonian people are. “It is by no means bad that the young people of Estonia go and train themselves in other countries and receive a broader education, although Estonian schools are also good. Studying in other schools is not something we should condemn,” the Prime Minister said. He attached importance to the entrepreneurship of young people to return to Estonia and to create businesses with well-paid jobs.

The Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship Anne Sulling replied to the interpellation concerning the responsibility of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Development Fund (No 434). The Minister of Health and Labour Urmas Kruuse replied to the interpellation concerning restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages (No 435).

At the beginning of the Riigikogu sitting, the new Minister of Finance Maris Lauri took the oath of office.

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor.

Photos of taking the oath of office:

The Riigikogu Press Service