No. 31




On Migration Policy Design. An Outline

10 June 2015


RiTo No. 31, 2015

  • Leif Kalev

    Leif Kalev

    Professor of Political Studies, Tallinn University

The article discusses the context, underlying frameworks and mechanisms in designing migration policy. The focus is on the possibilities for steering legal migration based on generalised international experience. Also, some potential challenges for Estonian immigration policy are discussed.

Migration policy can be characterised in the framework of national-cosmopolitan and utilitarian-voluntaristic axes. In the near future, national and utilitarian emphasis is likely to be stronger in Estonia. At the same time migration depends to a large extent on the choices of the people themselves. It will always be a point of consideration as to what extent the state should steer migration policy via clear targets, or leave a deregulated space for other actors.

In Estonia, the recent amendments of 2013 and 2015 to the Aliens Act have facilitated the conditions for the entry of talents and skills to Estonia and developed mechanisms to steer legal migration. The practice will depend on the interest and activities of enterprises, civil society, universities and other actors. The possible issues for further consideration in Estonian migration policy include the expected or preferred scope of immigration and integration.

Full article in Estonian