Estonia: Whereas Germany and other European states are faced with floods of arriving refugees, the situation in the Baltic states is much calmer
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not among the main destinations for asylum seekers. However, Estonia shall, according to the latest distribution plan made in Brussels, receive 150 to 180 refugees during the next two years, mainly (as Estonia would appreciate it) families and single mothers with children. The first refugee families are supposed to arrive this year. Thus, a representative of the Estonian Government currently coordinates the choosing and receiving of refugees in Lampedusa.
Hereupon the Estonian Government is preparing for the arrival. The Ministry of the Interior has come up with the decision to provide pro bono legal service for asylum seekers in order to ensure the right to a hearing. To assure this, the Estonian Chamber of Lawyers, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior, carried out a public tender. Estonian law firms could apply to carry out the legal advice financed by public funds. Eventually, two law firms based in Tallinn were chosen whose advocates will give legal advice to asylum seekers in the future. The project will preliminary continue until the end of next year.
Thereby, the Estonian advocates make a contribution to the welcome and integration of the refugees in Estonia. The following year will show how many asylum seekers actually will use this opportunity and if the proposed financing is going to be sufficient.