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The President of the Republic's Roundtable of National Minorities Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary

Today the President of the Republic's Roundtable of National Minorities celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Seminar Non-citizens of Estonia in the European Union to mark the anniversary takes place in Sakala Centre. The objective of the convention is to launch a discussion on the problems of stateless persons in the enlarging European Union and to single out their current attitudes towards the EU.

President of the Republic Arnold Rüütel opened the seminar. In his opening address the President of the Republic congratulated members of the Roundtable of National Minorities and the Chamber of Representatives of Cultural Societies of National Minorities and thanked everybody who had contributed to the foundation and development of the organisation. According to President Rüütel the Roundtable with its analysis of problems and specific proposals has made a major contribution to drafting legislation and has tried to identify and develop common goals, which would help to upgrade the quality of life and ensure the ethnic and cultural identity of all people living in Estonia.

Also President Lennart Meri who originally convened the Roundtable, congratulated the Roundtable.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Estonia John Kjaer and France Mochel from the European Commission speak about the rights of stateless persons in the European Union.

In the afternoon Estonian politicians participate in the panel, discussing Potential Ways to Reduce the Number of Stateless Persons.

At 17.30, a concert will follow as well as a reception by President Rüütel to thank the longest-serving members of the Roundtable. The programme of the concert and the reception is compiled and prepared by cultural associations of numerous ethnic minorities.

After the restoration of independence, Representative Assembly, associating Russian-speaking organisations and Estonian Union of National Minorities, appealed to establish a consultation body representing national minorities at the Office of the President or the Riigikogu. On 10 July 1993 President Lennart Meri convened a roundtable – a standing convention of representatives of nationalities and ethnic minorities, political parties and stateless persons.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 13, 2003

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