Honouring of obligations and commitments by Estonia
17 January 1997
Rapporteur: Mr Anders BJÍRCK, Sweden, European Democratic Group
Notes by the Rapporteur
The three main issues, namely the situation concerning refugees and asylum seekers, the conditions in Estonian prisons and the treatment of the "non-historic" Russian speaking minority, are very satisfactorily dealt with in the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
The minority question, particularly sensitive given the historic circumstances, has also been addressed in a motion for a resolution on human rights and the situation of the Russian national minority in Estonia [Doc.7671], presented by Mr.Glotov (Russia, UEL) on 2 October 1996 (see Annex 1).
Two positive developments regarding this matter have taken place recently:
in December 1996 the European Union made available 1,4 million ECU for language training for those who do not speak Estonian and are applying for citizenship (see Annex 2). This should help to speed up the process of their naturalization and will complement the efforts that have already been taken by the Council of Europe.
on 6 January 1997, Estonia ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (see Annex 3).
Proposed amendments to the draft resolution
A. In paragraph 3 replace the words: "...the signature of the Framework Convention..." with the words: "...the ratification of the Framework Convention...".
B. Replace the wording of paragraph 9 with the following:
"The Assembly welcomes the considerable progress in the honouring of commitments by Estonia. It resolves to continue following developments, in particular with regard to the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, the "non-historic" Russian minority, and conditions of custody and detention."
Proposed amendments to the draft recommendation
A. delete paragraph 1.
B. Add at the beginning of new paragraph 1: "The Assembly, referring to its Resolution...(1997) and...".
Reporting committee: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (Doc. 7715)
Committee for opinion: Political Affairs Committee
Reference to committee: Order No. 508 (1995)
Opinion approved by the committee on 13 January 1997
Secretaries to the committee: Mr Hartland, Mr Kleijssen, Mr Gruden
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
on human rights and the situation of the
Russian national minority in Estonia
presented by Mr GLOTOV and others
Note: 1 by the Political Affairs Committee