In the whirlwind that saw Brexit place a unexpected milestone in the paths of Britain and the European Union, the issue of the European Union’s ‘unapologetic intrusion’ into the social and cultural fabric of the U.K. was seen as stoking the volatility of the ‘leave’ movement.
Uncontrolled immigration was often noted as being the most unacceptable aspect of EU membership. While acknowledging that the loss of jobs to foreigners was a persistent irritant, an economic problem that had its practical solution, the influx of non-Brits still had its emotional side that drove people to action. It’s been said that unfettered immigration was seen as threatening the basic essence of ’what it is to be a Britain’.
While concerns in the U.K. and elsewhere centred on the threat to the fabric of indigenous cultures, Estonians, as a counterpoint in a widely entrenched international debate on immigration have also included another, distinctively different aspect of immigration, “How to become Estonian?” This theme was dissected at a conference sponsored by the Pro Patria and Res Publica (IRL) party this spring.
It is known that Margus Tsahkna, the chair of IRL has said that Estonia requires new goals. One of them should be vastly increasing the number of people that label themselves as Estonia, to 2,000,000. In contrast Andrei Hvostov (journalist, author) is convinced that the number of individuals that consider themselves to be “pure” Estonians is 500,000.
(Pikemalt Eesti Elu 15. juuli paberlehes)
Becoming Estonian – not a text-book exercise Estonian Life