Estonian Central Council in Canada meets with Global Estonian communities in Tallinn to advocate for greater cooperation and engagement between diaspora and government

May 2, 2018

Members of the Estonian Central Council in Canada will be participating in the annual World Estonian Council meeting in Tallinn May 3-5, 2018 in Tallinn.

The World Council will be considering policy proposals adopted and first introduced by the Estonian Central Council in Canada, in Fall 2017, urging the Estonian government to improve communications and coordination with the 200 000 Estonians living abroad.

“We appreciate all the work that Estonians around the world do to promote our culture, values and interests,” said Estonian Minister of Justice, Urmas Reinsalu, “I am thankful to the Estonian Central Council for their initiative and am very much looking forward to working with the World Estonian Council to discuss ways to strengthen our connections and advance our cooperation.” 

The policy adopted by the Estonian Central Council include the creation of 1-2 permanent seats in Parliament, elected by members of the Estonian diaspora. The two members of parliament will be accountable to the global Estonian communities they represent and will be expected to increase engagement among the diaspora.

The creation of a Minister’s position or Secretary of State for diaspora affairs, along with staff and an office to support efforts to improve engagement is critical. Estonians are involved globally, at very high levels, in business, culture, tech, finance, sport and many other industries where Estonian can benefit from greater engagement with them.

“The 200 000 Estonians living abroad can become a powerful asset for promoting Estonian culture, business and other interests abroad,” said Estonian Central Council Vice President, Laas Leivat.”By creating a formal connection with them and actively engaging with them, we can ensure that they’ll maintain their Estonian identity, culture and even language abroad.”

The Estonian Central Council in Canada has worked and consulted with Canadians living in Estonia to develop formal policies, including former former head of the World Bank in Estonia, Hillar Lauri, as well as other Estonian communities.

“We’re grateful for the cooperation we have with our counterparts in countries like Sweden, The United States, Australia, The Czech Republic and United Kingdom,” added Estonian Central Council in Canada President, Marcus Kolga. “We’re happy that many of them have also adopted these policies and we look forward to continuing our discussion in Tallinn at the World Council Meeting.”

The Estonian Central Council in Canada, also recognizes and appreciates the recent Estonian Government decision, guided by Minister Reinsalu, to build a new international museum and research center into the crimes of the Soviet and Nazi regimes in the historic Patarei Prison complex in central Tallinn.


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The Estonian Central Council in Canada (ECC)/Eestlaste Kesknõukogu Kanadas (EKN) is a nationally elected council founded in 1951 that furthers the interests and development of the Canadian Estonian community.


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