Daily Management Review

Estonia's euroskeptics are about to join the government


The anti-immigrant movement will maximally strengthen position of nationalists on the eve of the EU parliamentary elections.

Estonia has come closer to forming a government that would include an anti-immigrant party, potentially strengthening position of nationalists before the May parliamentary elections. Estonian EKRE is skeptical, similar to the ruling parties in Hungary and Poland.

EKRE will be the junior partner of the new coalition of Estonia, which will be headed by the Center Party of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. Ratas outplayed the opposition Reform Party, which won the most votes in the March elections in the Baltic country, refusing promises not to work with EKRE. His trilateral alliance is ready to sign a coalition agreement on Monday.

The inclusion of EKRE "can make the allies more cautious towards Estonia," Bloomberg quoted Kristi Raik, head of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute in Tallinn. But "the government will simply take a slightly more skeptical position than on average, without any significant changes."

The Coalition Pact does not include a change in Estonia’s orientation, which provides for “foreign and security policy based on EU and NATO membership”. Meanwhile, Estonians, more than other EU members, are worried about immigration, although more than half say they are “inclined to trust” the bloc.

While members of EKRE are free in their expression and, for example, use racial epithets in public, the party has refused to refuse gay marriage and state funding for abortions. The government will carry out a controversial modernization of the pension system, while the long-awaited project of the Baltic Railway, opposed by the ECRE, will depend on the level of EU assistance. At the same time, EKRE will select the Minister of Finance.

source: reuters.com