In 2016, Estonia's capacity to receive and integrate refugees has advanced according to plans

Toomas Mattson | 12/19/2016 | 2:31 PM

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TALLINN, 19 December 2016 – In its recent overview, the NAO claims that Estonia's capacity to receive persons requesting or benefiting from international protection and integrate them into our society has advanced according to plans in 2016. The provision of Estonian language training needs improvement as it directly affects the refugees' employability in the future.

The procedures envisaged in the Relocation and Resettlement Action Plan have become operational as intended. Invitations to tender have led to the contracting of service providers for the provision support person, interpretation and translation, and medical examination services. All relocated or resettled beneficiaries of international protection still reside in Estonia.

In its audit report published in January this year, the NAO maintained that the capability to handle refugees needed considerable improvement. The NAO's overview published today indicates that now we need to focus on supporting the adaptation of beneficiaries of protection.

Hitherto, the main challenge has been the entry of beneficiaries of protection to the labour market. Further challenges include the need to improve the provision of Estonian language training and the shortage of professional interpreters.

The brief overview by the NAO focuses on the latest developments, i.e. the situation as of December 2016, whereas the survey by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) presented last week at the Ministry of the Interior mostly reflects the situation in Estonia as of spring 2016. The survey revealed that refugees living in Estonia are willing to contribute to the community and economy, learn Estonian, become independent as soon as possible, and integrate into the society.

Background information
According to Council Decision, Estonia has undertaken to relocate 329 individuals from Greece and Italy, and resettle 20 individuals from Turkey. A further 168 individuals will be resettled according to the migration agreement between EU and Turkey. Estonia is required to host a total of 517 individuals. Estonia has drawn up the Relocation and Resettlement Action Plan for receiving 550 persons.

As of mid-December this year, according to the European Migration Plan, Estonia had relocated 66 individuals from Greece and resettled 11 individuals from Turkey. A total of 77 individuals or 15% of the target. Currently, Estonia has not relocated any beneficiaries of international protection from Italy.


Toomas Mattson
Communication Manager of the National Audit Office
+372 640 0777
+372 513 4900
[email protected]
[email protected]

  • Posted: 12/19/2016 2:31 PM
  • Last Update: 1/30/2017 12:49 PM
  • Last Review: 1/30/2017 12:49 PM

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