After a debate lasting several years, Estonia enacted a law of non-territorial cultural autonomy for national minorities in 1993, echoing experiences from the country’s previous period of independence. In international discussion, the law was initially cited as a promising way of dealing with minority issues in Central and Eastern Europe. With time, however, its applicability in contemporary Estonia has been questioned; in practice, the law has failed to be implemented. This paper inspects possible reasons for its disuse, and argues that the law could still play a role in Estonia’s minority policies, especially with regard to education. The paper is based on an analysis of legislation, parliamentary records and media.
- cultural autonomy
- Russian speakers