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Integration ministers prepare for debate

A debate between ministers responsible for integration is being held in Tallinn today, 5 April, featuring the members of government who have overseen the area since the early 1990s.

The politicians taking part in the debate are:

- Andra Veidemann (Minister of Population Affairs 1996-1999)

- Katrin Saks (Minister of Population Affairs 1999-2002)

- Eldar Efendijev (Minister of Population Affairs 2002-2003)

- Paul-Eerik Rummo (Minister of Population Affairs 2003-2007)

- Urve Palo (Minister of Population Affairs 2007-2009)

- Rein Lang (Minister of Culture 2011-2013)


The debate will be moderated by Eestlase käsiraamat /Handbook for Estonians/ author Mihkel Raud.

Irene Käosaar, the director of the Integration Foundation, promises a fascinating debate. “A lot’s happened since Estonia regained its independence almost 27 years ago, so we’ll be asking those who were there each step of the way how we’ve arrived at the Estonia we know today,” she explained.

The debate will be taking place as part of an event being held at SpaceX (Keevise 6, starting at 15:00) to mark the 20th anniversary of the Integration Foundation.

The foundation was established by the government on 31 March 1998, originally with the name ‘Non-Estonians Integration Foundation’. Since then the words used to describe the field and the people it encompasses have changed, with some even falling out of use altogether. For example, the previously accepted word muulane (‘foreigner’ or ‘other’) has been replaced by expressions meaning ‘person of other nationality’ or ‘person with a mother tongue other than Estonian’.

Note: Journalists are welcome to attend the debate but must register in advance by e-mailing or calling +372 5661 2775.

For further information please contact:

Agnes Aaslaid

Head of Communications, Integration Foundation

Mobile: +372 5661 2775