A strong foundation keeps the tower from leaning
As we put into words the national objectives in Estonia´s new integration programme, we would do well to avoid words that touch off major arguments, such as “nation-state” or “multiculturalism”.
Instead, we should describe the society which we wish to achieve and in which we ourselves want to live. I believe that we will be able to reach agreement that our common goal is an Estonia with a strong national (state) identity, whose citizens are well-adapted, use Estonian as their common language for communicating with each other, and where the state supports, as it is able, the preservation of the national identity. In speaking about Estonian immigration, we tend to forget that non-Estonians make up nearly one-third of the population and they are far from a unified, homogeneous group but rather a people whose readiness and ability to adapt varies greatly from one region to another. For this reason, I believe that the state integration programme must encompass large-scale projects. Integration is a long-term, continuous process in which all people take part, whether they are citizens or not.