Controversy over UN migration pact in Estonia

In Estonia a heated debate has broken out about the UN migration pact. Voices in the parliament are complaining that the country was not included in its preparation. The pact is due to be signed in a month but President Kersti Kaljulaid has now called into question Estonia's willingness to approve it. Views on the debate in Estonia exemplify those being voiced in other countries, too.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

No obligations - my foot

Estonia is discussing whether the agreement is legally binding. While the foreign minister stresses that individual states will retain their sovereignty on migration policy even if they sign, Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu writes in Eesti Päevaleht:

“It may not be an international treaty, but it is an accord which will establish a large number of positions and actions in the area of migration. Later on it could be interpreted as international customary law for signatory states.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

An indictment of Estonia's politicians

Urmas Paet, ex-foreign minister and EU parliamentarian, vents his annoyance over Estonia's politicians feigning ignorance:

“One really wonders what is going on in Estonia's authorities when all of a sudden the signing of the UN migration pact in a month's time seems to come as a big surprise and they act as if they had no idea what it contains. This really shouldn't be the case considering that the pact has been in preparation for two years and all the UN member states participated in its drafting. Including Estonia. ... The preparation of the agreement began in April 2017, followed by 15 (!) months of consultations and negotiations among the governments. And the text itself has been ready and available for all to read since 13 July 2018.”