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Compiled by: Karin Kase, Kati P채ike, Viola Rea-Soiver Editor: Maris Sander Layout and printing: Auratr체kk / Britta Roman Photos by: Annika Haas, if not indicated otherwise Published by: Ministry of the Interior Pikk 61, 15065 Tallinn Security Policy 2015 on the web: ISSN 2228-0626

SECURITY POLICY 2015 Summary of the implementation of the “Main guidelines of Estonia’s security policy until 2015” in 2014.

Dear reader, Allow me to present to you the final progress report on the implementation of the main security policy guidelines. This year completes the action plan established in 2008 and henceforth, we will be guided by the new Internal Security Development Plan 2015–2020. The contents of the development plan will be discussed in detail in the pages that follow. This security policy overview document summarises the efforts that the Ministry of the Interior and its agencies made in 2014 through eight major fields in order to make Estonia a safe place for us all. In terms of Estonia’s internal security, 2014 was a labour‑intensive year. In order to ensure that our border is protected and guarded, we began clearing scrub from the Estonian‑Russian temporary border line and concluded agreements for launching the construction of Piusa guard station, which will constitute a major base for a special border guard unit. We also began elaborating the air passenger name record (PNR) system, which simplifies capturing inter­ national criminals. We passed the amendments to the Citizenship Act which simplify granting citizenship to non‑nationals who are minors and seniors. We also passed

Hanno Pevkur Minister of the Interior

the e‑residency digital ID legislation, making Estonia a true e‑state, and new documents have already reached their first owners. As the internal security budget increased, we could once again raise the salaries of operational staff, which hopefully improves the motivation of professionals working in our field. We place equal importance on volunteering: assistant police officers, rescue volunteers and volunteer maritime rescuers, who respond swiftly to various incidents and thus keep their communities safe. The year 2014 saw the largest police operation in Estonian history: ensuring the security of the President of the United States Barack Obama and his team during the President’s visit to Estonia required multifaceted cooperation and sleepless nights. All the above matters are the responsibility of the largest public sector organisation in Estonia. Al­together, there are 8,400 people working in the Ministry of the Interior and its agencies. Among other topics, this publication gives an overview of how we manage such a large number of people and assets. Enjoy!


Table of contents Main security policy guidelines 2015 1. Law enforcement


2. Internal security


3. Citizenship and migration


4. Border surveillance


5. Rescue work


6. Crisis management


7. Human resources and organisational development


8. Resources



The Internal Security Development Plan 2015–2020 introduces an integrated approach to ensuring security In 2014, the Ministry of the Interior, together with multiple partners, began elaborating the Internal Security Development Plan 2015–2020 which encompasses the topics related to developing and implementing internal security policy. The development plan implements the bases for internal security, adopted by the Riigikogu (Parliament), including the principles of the current “Main guidelines of Estonia’s security policy until 2015”. The notion of security means a stable living environment which provides people actual security as well as a sense of being protected. Therefore, the Internal Security Development Plan focusses on four specific topics. 1) Security is ensured in an integrated manner – security requires the joint contribution of many institutions and people. People’s security and sense of safety are not affected solely by the number and nature of offences. As internal security plays an important role in ensuring social stability, it is necessary to detect and prevent the factors that threaten this stability. When the international climate grows tense, we need to step up the analysis of and preparedness for emergencies and state protection prior to declaring a state of war. 2) Security begins with ourselves – although it is a widely‑held belief that ensuring security is mainly the task of law enforcement and rescue workers, who are expected to intervene promptly and professionally in cases of accidents, we must keep in mind that if an accident occurs, the damage to people’s lives and property or to nature is already a fact. 3) Accident prevention is the most reasonable solution – every person can increase their security by improving their own behaviour and that of their loved ones. It is important to foster the right attitudes and to spot threats. Consideration for others at the level of the individual must allow for maintaining and increasing security in society. We are planning to elaborate a community‑based approach to implementing the development plan, which will help to ensure a safe living environment as a joint effort.

curity as well as other fields. When ensuring security, we should find the most efficient and smart solutions for using innovative technologies in addition to human resources.

How to ensure security? Security is a sense of safety – the faith and knowing that the state guarantees everyone certain values, as well as a personal experience of these values actually being enacted. The sense of safety is traditionally believed to be made up of national security and protection from offences, but equally important is the faith in economic and social coping and in justice and freedom. We feel safe knowing that we live in a free society and follow universally accepted rules. On the other hand, security is an actual experience of whether and how this faith was held up in certain circumstances. After losing a job, a person gets to experience how economic security and social protection actually work. After suffering an offence, a person gets to experience what kind of support victims are offered. If we do not have faith in social and economic coping, we do not feel safe, regardless of being protected from offences and of the generally small number of offences. The Internal Security Development Plan tackles the principles of ensuring social stability in the context of security and identifies the various contributors who, by fulfilling their routine tasks, create a safe living environment and thus ensure security.

Ensuring internal security requires choices The development plan abides by the principles laid down in the Law Enforcement Act, whereby security begins with personal responsibility. At the same time, two-thirds of the population are of the opinion that providing security should be a task of the police and professional rescue workers.







4) It is important to use a knowledge‑based approach


to identifying the root causes of problems and to solve them jointly – in terms of ensuring internal security, we must establish the real reasons for feeling threatened – for people to feel unsafe or to act without consideration of threats. We must identify opportunities for eliminating these reasons together by applying a knowledge‑based approach to carrying out routine activities in the field of internal se-






Figure 1. The nature of security Source: Criminal Prevention Council 1996


5 Macro environment General public order situation

Security situation

REACTIVE Emphasis on response capabilities and developing enforcement bodies

General economic situation, welfare

Internal security development trends People’s attitudes State budget availability

Technological and IT development and opportunities


PROACTIVE Emphasis on prevention and creating a safe living environment

Micro environment

According to the Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention, the essential aspects of prevention are a network‑based approach and cooperation both at national and local level. In order to apply a community‑based approach in internal security, government authorities must include local government units, companies, social and other organisations and interested people as much as possible. Various network‑based working groups are already operating both at the level of counties (e.g. trauma councils) and local government units (e.g. law enforcement committees).

Demographic situation

Internal security institution

Figure 2. The environment for ensuring internal security and the resulting choices

Volunteers Public sector efforts + cooperation

According to the general expectation in society, security should be ensured by improving response capabilities, i.e. increasing the number of police officers and rescue workers and updating equipment, while the state is not able to meet these expectations for economic (state budget) and demographic (decrease in employable population) reasons. In addition, improving response capabilities may often be unnecessary, as people’s awareness and skills in preventing threats significantly reduce the need for response capabilities. To a large extent, we have yet to tap into this resource in Estonia. In fact, the main challenges of the new development plan are, on the one hand, how to create conditions that are more conducive to the targeted development of internal security services (with an emphasis on ensuring and stepping up response capabilities) and, on the other hand, how to improve public awareness and reinforce the attitudes and behaviour that diminish the need to manage the consequences of accidents and help create a safe living environment.

Social rules must aid the process The most general and effective method for ensuring security is the contribution of every member of society who diminishes their risk behaviour and that of others by proactively preventing threats and being considerate of the needs of others. In a safer society, community life and the general environment are organised in a way that reduces the probability of crime, addictions, violence and other negative phenomena early on. Social rules contribute to creating a safer living environment and, together with legislation, guide people in avoiding threats in everyday life. For example, the Fire Safety Act allows for a significant decrease in the number of fires. The vari­ ous prevention products, either compulsory, such as smoke alarms, or voluntary, such as smart buildings, also foster economic development, as product development and sales serve the interests of the private sector.

Private sector, third sector, other associations Individual contributions

Figure 3. Various levels of contributing to internal security objectives

Eight specific objectives As the implementation of the development plan unfolds step by step, we must keep in mind that the main challenges change according to events in the external environment. The development plan will be implemented on the basis of the following eight programmes that set specific objectives and lines of action for the development plan: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Safer communities Ensuring efficient rescue capabilities A more reliable and prompt aid management Crisis prevention and improving emergency preparedness Improving internal security A balanced citizenship and migration policy Reliable and secure identity management More efficient border management.

According to plans, the Riigikogu (Parliament) should discuss the development plan and the Government should approve it in the first months of 2015. The implementation of the development plan is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior with the participation, in their respective areas of competence, of the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as numerous private and third sector institutions.


Main security policy guidelines 2015




Law enforcement

Law enforcement concerns everyone Uku Särekanno Head of the Public Order and Criminal Policy Department

For law enforcement, 2014 can be a considered a halfway point of sorts, with the new Law Enforcement Act entering into force, the revision of the Penal Code completed and the concept of county police put into action. All these changes are geared towards the future and should help create a safe living environment in the coming years. What exactly will change? First, we will be focussing more on the individual contribution of citizens and cooperation within communities in ensuring security. We have learned from the experiences of other developed countries that the majority of offences and threats can be prevented already at community level. Or, as stated by criminologists: a high crime rate is a sign of a weak community. Estonia is a small and united country where community‑based security can acquire a whole new meaning and become an example for the rest of the world.

The new Law Enforcement Act entered into force in the summer The Law Enforcement Act which entered into force in July places the legal responsibility for ensuring public order on us all. It expresses a clear wish for each of us to analyse where and how we could best contribute to security. The Law Enforcement Act does not diminish police responsibility or suggest that everyone should become an assistant police officer or volunteer rescue worker. Rather, the aim is for people to care more for their surroundings and fellow citizens, not to stand idly by when witnessing disturbances and to be supported by the state in solving security issues at community level. Some examples of community cooperation are the neighbourhood watch, linking local government camera

systems to police databases and solving problems related to vulnerable families. It is obvious that together we can improve security considerably. The Law Enforcement Act is one of the first tentative steps towards promoting community‑based security and it needs to be supported by a well‑functioning county police and county‑level networks whose aim is to help solve local problems together. Secondly, we will be putting more emphasis on prevention in the coming years. Whether the issue is drug addiction, alcohol or vulnerable children, the police are often faced with dealing with tragic consequences. According to a questionnaire survey by TNS Emor, Estonian people are concerned most about traffic accidents, drug crime and personal property. It is evident that focussing only on surveillance does not reduce drug crime, aggressive behaviour in traffic or theft. We should pay more attention to the root causes of these problems and introduce appropriate risk management measures.

Caring for others prevents problems In terms of drug addiction, reducing supply and demand should go hand in hand with treatment options and rehabilitation and assisting vulnerable families. In traffic, emphasis should be put on training, road quality and most importantly, a considerate attitude of drivers towards themselves and fellow citizens in traffic. In terms of criminal offences against property, people should take good care of their property, disapprove of buying stolen goods and take an interest in what goes on in their apartment buildings or in the street. The cooperation of numerous local‑level officials (police, administrative bodies, local governments) also plays a crucial role in the prevention of various offences. In this respect, 2014 was especially significant in terms of the initiative to collect information on vulnerable families. By now, the police have already collected the first data on primary vulnerable families and are working on engaging relevant partners in offering appropriate services in a systematic manner.

1. Law enforcement


1. Law enforcement


The Law Enforcement Act expresses a clear wish for each of us to analyse where and how we could best contribute to security.

Prevention does not bear fruit instantly and requires several years of systematic preparatory work. School, colleagues, friends and the general environment are important factors here. There is no denying that the downward spiral of offences often stems from lack or insufficiency of parental guidance. Therefore, the prevention efforts of the Ministry of the Interior are also focussed on minors and vulnerable young people; for more information, see p. 13.

All necessary elements of criminal offences were revised Thirdly, we are constantly working on establishing the most effective sanctions for offences. In the course of the lengthy and in‑depth revision of the Penal Code, which was completed in early 2014, all the necessary elements of various criminal offences were revised. The aim was to complement the Code with new elements in keeping with the developments in the criminal world over the past decade. We also assessed the effectiveness of existing sanctions and tried to find the most optimum solutions. We revised the threshold of material damage instrumental in differentiating acts punishable pursuant to criminal procedure and acts punishable pursuant to misdemeanour procedure, and decriminalised several offences. Looking for alternative sanctions is not merely limited to choosing between criminal and misdemeanour sanctions. For example, the North and South Prefectures launched a pilot project in June 2014, consisting of a drink driver counselling programme. The programme participants are selected from among drivers apprehended with an intoxication level ranging from 0.5 to 1.49 per milligram; if they pass the programme, they are relieved from pecuniary punishment, but have to pay counselling costs. The aim of the programme is to keep the participants from driving drunk again, to foster

caring and thereby reduce traffic‑related damages. In the same vein, we have begun revising the system of under‑age offenders with a view to shifting the focus from punishing the child offenders to helping them step out of the downward spiral of offences. This means ensuring in each individual case that while justice is done, the sanctions will not result in another offence and that the children are offered appropriate counselling. In addition, we are preparing a substantial reform of the victim support system in the coming years, which will include a system for assessing the risk of repeatedly falling victim to offences.

Simpler offence procedures Fourthly, we are currently introducing several significant changes that should speed up and simplify offence procedures. The Code of Misdemeanour Pro­ cedure, currently discussed in the Riigikogu, simplifies misdemeanour procedure requirements and allows police officers more discretion when responding to various situations. It is not always necessary to draw up a time‑consuming record and to enter personal data into a database; often an oral reprimand and a warning are sufficient. We are also promoting wider use of the video procedure, mainly in traffic surveillance, but gradually with regard to other offences as well. Using modern technology allows the police to conduct the procedures quicker, which frees up valu­ able time for prevention and processing other recorded offences. Criminal procedure is also in need of updating. While several minor amendments to simplify the criminal procedure have already been submitted to the Riigikogu, the more substantial matters, such as the principle of legality and founding an institution for pre‑hearing mediation, will be discussed during the criminal procedure revision to be launched next year.

County police gaining importance Einar Lillo Adviser of the Public Order and Criminal Policy Department

The county police reform saves 4.8 million euros, allowing to raise the minimum wage of police officers to 975 euros. The first Estonian Police Organisation Act, passed in 1920, described the tasks of the police as follows: “[A police officer] maintains social security and order and protects each and every one from violence, brutality and force.� The Act defined the county police districts of the time and dedicated separate sections to large towns and the national railway. A similar reasoning led us to the county police reform that entered into force on 1 October 2014, referred to by

the police officers, in jest, as the October Revolution. The basic idea of the changes affecting the work of 18 regional police stations is to offer people the maximum possible range of police services locally, taking into consideration regional circumstances and community needs. The focus has shifted more to local police chiefs, who have been given a greater say in planning and using resources.

Increased responsibility for station heads The responsibility of station heads used to be limited to regional police officers and patrols, and the officials who, for example, investigated crimes or issued identity documents, answered to other superiors. The reform, however, incorporated the staff who used to process misdemeanours and crimes under both the Criminal Bureau and stations into one prevention and procedures unit, subordinated to the chief of county police. The youth police in charge of preventing offences was also added to the unit.

1. Law enforcement


1. Law enforcement


The county police reform that entered into force on 1 October 2014 is referred to by the police officers, in jest, as the October Revolution.

This means that the entire Police and Border Guard Board switched over to a system where all key services from regional police work, prevention, response and surveillance to procedures are now managed at county level. This approach allows the police to plan their operations and resources in a much more flexible manner and to cooperate more effectively.

The reform was a year in the making The need for making changes in the management architecture of county police was discussed first in November 2013, when some 130 police leaders and experts gathered at Nelijärve. The common conclusion was that the atmosphere had grown rather revolutionary, where the old way no longer worked, but the new way forward had not been found yet. Fast forward about a year, and we had managed to come up with a solution where each county had one integrated team operating and solving problems, with the joint leadership providing the advantage of a more fluent information exchange and cross‑usage of resources. Hopefully, the reform saves us about 4.8 million euros in the next year, to be used for raising the minimum wage of police officers to 975 euros. The reorganisation is also expected to increase the

The reorganisation is expected to increase the number of patrolling police officers.

number of patrolling police officers and improve the general quality of procedures. People should have easier access to police services, which is a prerequisite for increasing the level of satisfaction with the service.

The chief of police becomes a spokesperson for security Are the county police ready now? Certainly not. For the county police model to start functioning successfully, the station and its head must be in direct contact with local people, communities, local governments and the companies and organisations operating in the county. Regional constables and police chiefs must become the local spokespersons for security and leaders in spotting law enforcement problems and finding solutions. Although the county police model is dynamic and flexible, it is a fact that the ratio of regional police work should be increased in order to help people and solve problems. The only way to meet this objective is to increase the number of regional constables and to improve their motivation, primarily by personalising work tasks. As the capabilities of local governments vary in Estonia, community security needs to be reinforced in many counties by increasing the presence of regional police officers. Therefore, one of the objectives of the Estonian Internal Security Development Plan is to gradually increase the number of regional police officers in the next five years. It is important to include people and communities in promoting law‑abiding behaviour, as every person has a role to play in creating a true sense of safety. If a person contributes to ensuring security as an assistant police officer or by being a role model, they become direct participants in the process and thus feel greater responsibility. Estonia has ample living and material resources worthy of our joint protection.

Efforts to reduce offences committed by children Kadri Ann Salla Adviser of the Public Order and Criminal Policy Department

Since 2010, the main objective of national criminal policy has been to prevent child crime; this year is no different. In 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board commissioned a survey on risk behaviour from TNS Emor, which showed that while children are highly aware of acts that damage themselves and others, risk behaviour is still widespread. It is therefore important to contribute to providing young people with appropriate skills and attitudes, and every year the Ministry of the Interior and its area of government are stepping up efforts to prevent and reduce offences committed by children. In 2014, the Ministry of the Interior and the Police and Border Guard Board allocated altogether over 600,000 euros to prevention (285,428 and 342,600 euros, respectively). In addition to the various prevention efforts of the police, 2014 was significant because of new and extensive prevention projects.

Support for prevention programmes in schools The experiences of other countries have shown, and scientific literature has confirmed, that risk behaviour among children is prevented most efficiently through the school system. The Ministry of the Interior thus aims at supporting tried and tested school‑based prevention programmes. Twenty schools all over Estonia have launched a social skills game for first‑grade pupils and teachers called My Best Self, which has produced great results in other countries in terms of preventing lowered academic performance, delinquent behaviour and problems with drugs and mental health.

The methods of the game are teamwork, inclusion, mutual recognition and positive feedback, which make the school experience more pleasant and successful for both students and teachers. The project is funded with 140,000 euros and if it is successful in the pilot schools, we wish to expand the programme to other schools in the coming years. We are also continuing funding for the anti‑bullying programme KiVa, allocating 37,515 euros to the programme, in order to contribute to providing the children a safe school environment. The programme intro­duces general rules and behaviours for school families for preventing bullying, but also includes guidelines for solving specific cases of bullying.

Prompt response to the assault in Viljandi In 2014, a tragedy occurred at Paalalinna School in Viljandi, when a pupil assaulted and killed a teacher. This was the first time a school shooting took place in Estonia and it shocked the entire society. Supporting schools in providing security is therefore especially relevant now and the issue requires heightened attention and increased resources from the state. When analysing the case, a positive aspect was that the Viljandi school and police responded to the sudden attack promptly; however, each Estonian school should

1. Law enforcement


1. Law enforcement


In 2014, the Ministry of the Interior and the Police and Border Guard Board allocated altogether over 600,000 euros to prevention.

be equally prepared. So, this year, the police continue offering counselling and support to schools in preventing and solving emergency situations, helping to draw up relevant plans and conduct training.

The Smart Parent campaign continues The Tark Vanem (Smart Parent) campaign, launched in 2013, encouraged parents to participate in preventing risk behaviour among children and in curbing the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. As a continuation of the campaign, TNS Emor was commissioned in the spring of 2014 to conduct a survey on the awareness and attitudes of parents. Interviews were held with 300 parents with children aged from 6 to 14. The alarming aspects of the survey results were that a quarter of the parents believed that they had no influence on their children’s decisions to use alcohol and tobacco, and that parents see more harm in tobacco than in alcohol. As preventing risk behaviour among children is largely dependent on the parents’ consistency in fostering values, last year we concluded three‑year contracts with three companies in the amount of 58,600 euros with the aim of organising an extensive awareness‑raising media and Internet campaign among parents.

Contributions to intervention programmes Last year, we prepared for the launch of two large‑scale intervention programmes for vulnerable youth, to be carried out with support from the European Social Fund. The sports‑based programme SPIN helps more than 800 young people aged from 10 to 18 to use their time in a meaningful way and develop social skills, with the additional aim of improving the safety of local communities. Sports, workshops and other educational activities are used for reducing risk behaviour among young people, guiding them towards education and prepar-

ing them for employment. The contributors to the programme are the police together with sports associations, youth centres, schools and juvenile committee specialists. The SPIN programme was launched in 2014 with 17,330 euros and will be financed with almost 1.3 million euros in the next six years.

Counselling and support for vulnerable youth The other intervention programme, High:five, is aimed at vulnerable youth aged from 15 to 26 and offers them help and support for changing their mentality and lifestyle in order to go back to school or enter the labour market. To this end, the programme team counsels the young people themselves, but also motivates companies and institutions to assume the social responsibility of including marginalised groups. The programme is funded with 690,000 euros until 2020. Besides being the target of prevention programmes, vulnerable children and their families are also in special focus in everyday police work. To be more aware of them, the police introduced a nationwide database on families and persons susceptible to recommitting or becoming the victims of offences. Families are supported by home visits, interviews and follow‑up checks organised by child protection and social workers together with the police, which prevent the proliferation of problems and further damage to young people and their loved ones.

Criminal intelligence boosted by air passenger name records Oleg Staniglazov Adviser of the Public Order and Criminal Policy Department

Last year, work was launched on the air passenger name record (PNR) system, costing 5.5 million euros, which simplifies capturing travelling criminals. In 2014, the Ministry of the Interior together with the Police and Border Guard Board began developing the PNR system, which will simplify significantly the work of Estonian law enforcement bodies in investigating and preventing crimes. The Estonian state funded the PNR system with over 554,000 euros and was supported by the European Commission with over 4,958,000 euros, which makes this initiative a major information technology project in the field of internal security. The system should be operational by 2016.

Passenger name records helpful in catching drug traffickers Airlines have been processing passenger name records for decades. These include, for example, data on travel dates, routes, ticket information, contact details, travel agency contact details, means of payment and seat and baggage numbers. The state using travel information provides significant added value to combatting terrorism and serious crime, stepping up prevention, detecting and investigating offences and prosecuting criminals. Comparing passenger name records to databases of fugitives and missing property makes it easier to gather evidence, identify accomplices and uncover criminal networks. For example, processing passenger name records helps catch drug traffickers and combat human trafficking, money laundering and terrorism in general. Both the police and customs authorities have encountered several cases where they uncovered large

1. Law enforcement


1. Law enforcement


The Estonian state funded the creation of the national passenger name record system with over 554,000 euros and was supported by the European Commission with over 4,958,000.

quantities of smuggled drugs or goods, but could identify only a part of the possible criminal group. In the cases where international criminal groups travel together, passenger name records are instrumental in identifying the links between people and detecting more crimes.

131 drug traffickers caught in six years From 2008 to 2013, altogether 131 drug traffickers of Estonian origin were arrested in various countries all over the world. In terms of the European Union, this is a small number, but our country is also small. A remarkable fact is that over half of the traffickers, 55%, were apprehended on the territories of European Union Member States. In third countries, the largest number of persons were arrested in Peru (17) and Ecuador (9), while Spain was the prevalent country of arrest within the European Union (14).

Processing air passenger name records helps capture drug traffickers, human traffickers and terrorists.

This illustrates well the fact that our targets should not be limited to flights from and to third countries viewed from the European Union, as it is often the case that one organised criminal group smuggles illegal substances from third countries into the European Union and another group distributes them to specific Member States. Analysing passenger name records also allows us to identify the usual drug trafficking routes.

Fugitive and unknown criminals filtered out Passenger name records also help to identify previously “unknown” persons, i.e. persons who have not been suspected of being part of terrorism or serious crime but whose passenger records indicate that they could be implicated in such criminal activity and who should therefore be investigated further by competent bodies. Air passenger name records significantly expand the opportunities to track down fugitives. Fugitives are caught mainly on the territory of the European Union, but in order to issue a European arrest warrant, the prosecutor’s office or the court often requests information stating that the person in question has left Estonia. Submitting queries regarding every person wanted for serious crimes to every travel company is time consuming and ineffective, and if the person’s approximate travel time is unknown, such a query is in fact unfeasible. Having access to passenger name records in such cases thus boosts the efficiency of the efforts to capture fugitives.

Assistant police officers gaining importance Eimar Veldre Adviser of the Public Order and Criminal Policy Department

Estonian people are worried for the safety of their communities and families. While many people in Estonia consider police officers and rescue workers as providers of security, we are also becoming increasingly conscious of the fact that security is something that we create all together: as professional law enforcement officials, as volunteers assisting the police and the Rescue Board and as aware and considerate citizens in our everyday lives (survey “Estonian residents on volunteering in support

of internal security: awareness and trust� 2013/2014). According to a 2013 survey on assistant police officers commissioned by the Police and Border Guard Board, the main reasons for wanting to become an assistant police officer are the wish to make one’s home community safer (37% of respondents), the wish to help others (22%) and to gain new experiences and knowledge (21%). The respondents considered assisting the police in patrol duties as the primary role of assistant police officers. At the same time, they also thought that volunteers could contribute more to prevention with the aim of avoiding accidents and offences, so as to be spared of the consequences. In 2014, the police were assisted in their work by 610 assistant police officers who contributed a total of 79,360 voluntary working hours. In the course of

Assistant police officers of the Ida-Harju police station practiced the cleaning and handling of weapons at the training held in autumn. Photo by: Janno Pugi

1. Law enforcement


1. Law enforcement


In 2014, the police were assisted in their work by 610 assistant police officers who contributed a total of 79,360 voluntary working hours.

the year 116 new assistant police officers joined. The contribution of assistant police officers continues to be significant: the working hours put in over 2014 are equal to those of an average police station. Assistant police officers also stood out at the major events of 2014. When the President of the United States Barack Obama visited Estonia, 29 assistant police officers participated in protecting public order. For details on the experience, read the adjacent story by Kadri Ann Salla.

permit and the right to drive, and in terms of training, the applicants’ previous training and work experience will be given more importance. As a result of the police reform, principles of regional police work are also being gradually updated. The aim is to provide all towns and municipalities with dedi­ cated regional police officers who are in touch with the concerns and joys of their regional communities. Volunteers, especially assistant police officers with independent discretion, can support regional police officers in this line of work as so‑called assistant constables.

Wider opportunities for volunteers The Ministry of the Interior, the Police and Border Guard Board and the Association of Estonian Assistant Police Officers have together prepared draft amendments to the Assistant Police Officer Act, which should be submitted for approval in the first months of 2015. The underlying intention is to allow wider access to volunteering by simplifying the procedures for becoming an assistant police officer and adding flexibility to training. For example, a health check will no longer be compulsory for persons with a weapons

Soon, a health check will no longer be compulsory for persons with a weapons permit and the right to drive.

Matching tasks and interests Volunteer work requires matching the two aspects of personal interests and the needs of the recipient organisation. The aspiring volunteers should be familiar with the needs of the organisation and their options for contributing. On the other hand, the organisation should also identify the interests of the volunteers and the modes of working best suited for them. An important aspect is that similarly to the volunteer Defence League and the Defence Forces, assistant police officers are not substitutes for police officers; the main aim is to maintain a sense of security and to increase defence readiness. In terms of promoting volunteering in internal security, we are planning to step up cooperation with the Association of Estonian Assistant Police Officers, Estonian Neighbourhood Watch and representatives of village societies in order to analyse the current modes of participation and relevant obstacles and to offer volunteers a wider variety of options for contributing to community activities.

Proud to have been part of the largest police operation in Estonia! I have always wanted to be a police officer. Considering that my work in the Ministry of the Interior entails dealing with youth offences, becoming an assistant police officer was a logical step for me, as I got to participate in the sphere that I am organising. I feel that it makes me a better official and professional in my current line of work. The main reason why I like being an assistant police officer is that it is very exciting: it entails many situations and encounters that I would never experience on my usual route from the office to grocery store and then home. While there is also an element of adrenaline and excitement, it mainly makes me feel proud of doing something for my country and community. I have been asked why I do this, being a pretty young woman. Whether I have nothing better to do with my time. But when I tell the sceptics that what I get in return far exceeds any sacrifice, they understand. Probably the most emotional moment in the time that I have been an assistant police officer was Barack Obama’s visit last year. While it was extremely draining, I felt such exhilaration when it was over. I later found out that I had been very brave, as the pressure had been too much even for many men and professional police officers; I turned out to be the only female assistant police officer to have secured Obama’s visit. Training began the previous night and all police officers were gathered in a hotel. It was a truly proud moment to have hundreds of police officers in one hotel, working for the same cause; I felt with every fibre that this was the greatest Estonian police operation of the century and I was a part of it. I was tasked with standing at a Narva Road junction and guarding public order. Except for one sandwich break, I stood on guard at the junction for 13 hours straight, closing the junction and keeping pedestrians at bay so that the road would be open when needed and the vehicle entourage could drive by safely. Bear in mind that sitting was not allowed. We got a couple of hours of sleep the previous night, assumed our positions at 2 a.m. and remained there until 6 p.m., when Obama left Estonia. It may not seem such a big thing, standing at a junction, but the moment when Obama drove by was truly grand and exhilarating, although it lasted maybe only 30 seconds. I got goose bumps as I realised that I, just a regular person, was actually securing Obama. To get to feel this way, I would go through the entire operation again, no questions asked.

Kadri Ann Salla Assistant police officer

1. Law enforcement




Internal security

Erkki Koort Deputy Secretary General for Internal Security Policy

Our current security situation has changed and is threatened by Russia’s aggressive behaviour, the spread of Islamic extremism, cyber terrorism and a shortage of resources. The primary keys to ensuring Estonia’s security are a more cohesive society and an internationally competitive economy. A small country has to look for new and smart solutions for ensuring security. The rise of the Internet and the e‑state has created enormous opportunities and reduced the importance of the geopolitical location of countries. The location of countries matters less in terms of finding a competitive edge, unless they are situated next to an aggressive empire. Due to Estonia’s location we must work on ensuring security constantly, directly and in a carefully planned manner, all the while keeping the big picture and a wider perspective in mind. We have good allies and friends, but this does not mean that we can let our duties slide. Internal security is the first line in national defence and it must be and appear convincing. We must do everything to ensure security, keeping in mind that in addition to our reputation with friends, the reputation we have among our enemies is also crucial.

Principles of broad‑based national defence As the international security and economic situation has changed, national defence must also encompass economic and psychological defence in addition to military defence. As the international security and economic situation has changed, national defence must also encompass economic and psychological defence in addition to military defence. The factors having an immediate impact on Estonia’s security have accumulated in recent years. The mass revolts that took place in Tallinn in 2007, combined with an extensive cyber-attack on Estonia, the military conflict between Georgia and Russia in 2008 and the events that began unfolding in Ukraine last year have revealed the instability of the security situation and helped us understand modern security threats and the mechanisms of their functioning, as we have witnessed them becoming an actuality. We have been developing the concept of national defence and the resulting day‑to‑day inter‑agen-

cy cooperation keeping in mind that the state should function even if the security situation takes a sudden turn for the worse. The principles of the broad‑based national defence of Estonia are based on the non‑military part of the National Defence Development Plan 2013–2022, which determines how other areas besides the military are coordinated, establishing, for example, cooperation plans and investments for healthcare, economy and national defence. An important aspect is that all ministries retain their regular functions even in a crisis situation (e.g. the Ministry of Social Affairs is still responsible for hospitals), only the focus and extent of activities shift. National defence priorities, defence capability requirements and long‑term development programmes are established in the internal security chapter of the National Defence Development Plan 2013–2022. The main internal security objective is to ensure the safest possible living environment and protection of public order on the Estonian territory in times of crisis and war.

2. Internal security


2. Internal security


It is important that people take active part in protecting public order and rescue efforts in order to improve people’s sense of security and social security.

Law enforcement and rescue equipment updated A key element in improving the population’s sense of security and social security is that people themselves actively participate in the protection of public order and rescue efforts. To improve the sense of security, we must maintain and ensure the services that are essential for a functional society and state. In order to better protect public order we are updating equipment, acquiring special equipment and stepping up rapid intervention capabilities. In emergency situations, we will be strengthening the security and protection of important strategic facilities with a high risk of attack, restricting access where needed. In addition, we will improve preparedness to resolve and halt mass disturbances by acquiring complementary technical devices and equipment. We will also improve rescue and explosives removal capabilities by updating technology and special equipment to better respond to rescue events on land and at sea (including flight rescue). For more on the equipment necessary for ensuring internal security, see p. 75. We are strengthening external border control and are prepared to restore internal border control where necessary. In a situation of escalating conflict it is crucial to step up control over influxes of potential attackers. We must therefore make sure that the people sent by a likely aggressor never get a chance to step into action, which leaves more resources for dealing with the offences that are already being committed. Restoring internal borders is necessary because the anarchists and extremists operating in various countries do not need the ideologies to match in order to become active; any disturbance is enough.

Psychological defence The misinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks and hostile propaganda launched against Estonia have revealed a crucial shortcoming in the defence of territorial integrity in terms of information space. This is further compounded by Estonia’s status in the world as a leading e‑state. An e‑state does not protect itself; a physical defence capability is needed. Speaking of psychological defence, we must consider the current impacts of the information environment and minimise the intensity of hostile propaganda. Hostile influence must be prevented by ensuring strong internal security in national defence, which minimises the threat of potential conflicts and deters adversaries. Including the population as volunteers in national defence and internal security units reduces the likelihood of potential security crises. We must respond swiftly to any biased notions disseminated in the media that disparage Estonia and thus compromise internal security.

Fight against corruption In 2014, we recorded 355 corruption crimes in 88 corruption‑related criminal cases. One of the most common corruption crimes is embezzlement, which affects particularly local governments and related legal persons. In cases of embezzlement, persons who have control and discretion over the use of budget funds use the money of local govern-

Although the court excluded the mayor of Kallaste Viktor Nukka from office, he stayed on working in the city government first as a development specialist and later as deputy mayor. Moreover, the former chief accountant went to work in a company that provides financial and accounting services to Kallaste city government.

ments for personal purchases and the facilities or other property of local governments for conducting personal business or declare vacation trips as working trips. In October 2014, Tartu County Court convicted the mayor of Kallaste Viktor Nukka, Kallaste’s chief accountant Aive Laumets and senior accountant Kiira Leonova of embezzlement, forgery and use of forged documents. The mayor, chief accountant and senior accountant used forged documents to embezzle money from Kallaste city government and caused the city government damage in the amount of over 42,500 euros. The extent of the damage is even more remarkable in the local context: the 2014 budgetary costs for Kallaste city government’s main operations amounted to 900,000 euros.

In addition, the corruption crime bureau of the Central Criminal Police suspects another Kallaste local government official of participating in making decisions regarding a company linked to the official or the official’s relatives. All of the above goes to show that corruption is not solely a law enforcement problem. Systematic corruption drains the community and makes corrupt behaviour a norm, a regular part of everyday life.

Mayor of Kallaste Viktor Nukka. Photo by: Kristo Nurmis

Private sector corruption In addition to public sector corruption, we should also pay attention to corruption in the private sector, where representatives of private companies make corrupt deals. The risk of corruption in the private sector is not limited to business executives, but also concerns employees whose actions are left unchecked. In the summer of 2014, Tiit Elias, real estate department project manager at Rimi Eesti Food AS, was convicted of taking bribes, forgery and using forged documents. Elias, who handled Rimi’s development projects, preferred contractors who bribed him with a total of 530,868 euros between 2012 and 2013. The bribes were filtered through Elias’ company Eliti Consult OÜ, which presented fictitious invoices to the bribers. More than 10 natural and legal persons are also implicated in the same case.

2. Internal security


2. Internal security


Tiit Elias, who handled Rimi’s development projects, preferred contractors who bribed him with a total of 530,868 euros between 2012 and 2013.

Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index The 2014 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index assessed 175 countries and ranked them on a scale from very clean to highly corrupt. According to the index, the least corrupt country in 2014 was Denmark, and Finland, Estonia’s northern neighbour ranked third. Estonia’s position has been relatively stable since 2000. Compared to 2013, our ranking has slightly improved; we now occupy the 26th place, together with France and Qatar. The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert assessments of the countries’ public sector corruption. The countries with the highest ranking are characterised by a democratic and transparent public sector where the decision makers stand by their actions. A poor ranking speaks of extensive corruption and an opaque public sector whose actions fail to meet public expectations.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2000–2014

143 122 106 87 82

83 79










126 107



147 134


154 134









2001 2002





27 6












2004 2005

144 127

142 136




144 133


71 52

152 143



2007 2008















2010 2011


2012 2013




Estonia also contributes to the fight against terrorism Over 10,000 people have gone to fight in Syria from Europe, some also from Estonia. Estonia’s internal security is increasingly affected by international events, including terrorism, which is becoming the greatest security threat in Europe according to EUROPOL. Foreign fighters who have participated in armed conflicts in Syria, North Africa and Ukraine constitute a major threat to the region’s security, as they have been trained and have actual combat experience, a radical attitude and dangerous contacts. According to different sources, over 10,000 people have gone from Europe to mainly Syria and Iraq to be foreign fighters; over 3,000 of them are European Union citizens. According to the information available, some people have also left Estonia to participate in or support military activity in Syria, and it is thus possible that former foreign fighters may also end up in Estonia in the future. Border control and quick data exchange constitute efficient countermeasures.

International cooperation in fighting terrorism The threat of terrorism has been low in Estonia. According to the Estonian Internal Security Service,

there are no national or international terrorist groups operating in Estonia. However, in view of Estonians’ fondness for travelling, our people could be in danger when travelling abroad, especially in conflict areas or their neighbouring countries. Many probably still recall the hijacking of Estonian cyclists in Lebanon in 2011. In the summer of 2014, an Estonian observer for the OSCE was taken prisoner in Ukraine by the separatists. When it comes to travelling, it is therefore important to assess risks appropriately, to heed the travel information published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to take warnings seriously. The state contributes to the international fight against terrorism also by participating in foreign missions together with our allies. Last year, the Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur and the Deputy Secretary General Erkki Koort visited the European Union police mission EUPOL in Afghanistan. Together with the allies, Estonian law enforcement officials help build Afghanistan’s police force, so that problems can be solved at their source before they get a chance to spread to Europe.

According to different sources, over 10,000 people have gone from Europe to fight as foreign fighters mainly in Syria and Iraq; over 3,000 of them are European Union citizens.

2. Internal security


2. Internal security



The events in Ukraine emphasise the importance of a sense of unity in society and the effective functioning of state bodies.

Information exchange systems help detain criminals Estonia has contributed to international data exchange and can make queries into the databases of other countries regarding, for example, fingerprints or DNA. In 2014, there were a total of 235,540 different queries related to Estonia. We are planning to further increase the number of countries involved in the exchange of data, which will help to identify and detain people linked

to crimes or terrorism all over Europe. In order to mitigate the threat of terrorism and increase security in the free movement of persons, Estonia has joined the international air passenger name record (PNR) system, which improves flight safety and reduces the threat of terrorism considerably. With a view to improving security we are also planning to step up the efficiency and security of exchange of information with Estonian accommodation establishments.

In May, Estonian specialists went to Afghanistan to train the local police on video evidence. Photo by: Police and Border Guard Board

Estonia holds human rights and freedoms in the highest esteem and strongly opposes any external attempts to pressure or intervene in the decisions of our state.

Estonia has recently introduced more efficient systems for combatting illicit trafficking, which will also indirectly mitigate the threat of terrorism by limiting considerably the possibilities of smuggling firearms, explosives or dangerous chemicals across state borders. We have improved rapid intervention capabilities and our preparedness to assist foreign partners in emergencies. Estonian special forces also participate actively in the international cooperation of rapid intervention units, including in the ATLAS special forces cooperation initiative of the European Union. Joint training and operations help to better understand common threats and design a clearer strategy for responding to the threat of terrorism more efficiently.

Improved security of national defence objects It is important to ensure that major objects (e.g. buildings directly associated with the functioning of the state: Toompea Castle, Stenbock House and the Bank of Estonia) and possible targets of terrorism are protected and that essential services function without interruption even in case of a threat or attack. We have thus analysed possible risks and drawn up risk mitigation regulations and action plans. The Ministry of the Interior took the initiative in complementing the draft National Defence Act with a section on ensuring the security of national defence objects. The new legislation introduces risk assessments, security plans and security measures to mitigate potential threats of attack.

The most important aspect is to implement all of the above in an integrated manner, i.e. to ensure a sense of security among Estonian society and a trust in the state among citizens. A major risk factor in this context is extremism of any kind, be it based on religion or ethnicity. Estonia holds human rights and freedoms in the highest esteem and strongly opposes any external attempts to pressure or intervene in the decisions of our state. Fortunately, opinion polls and various expert assessments indicate that support for extremism continues to be low in Estonia.

Curbing extremism on the web Terrorist messages and extremist propaganda spread on the Internet are a clear threat for all of Europe. This is understood by everyone and even the Anonymous hacker group has vowed to stand up to cyber terrorists. Estonia faces a tough challenge in opposing hostile propaganda in the media. The events in Ukraine emphasise the importance of a sense of unity in society and the effective functioning of state bodies. Corruption, illegal immigration, organised crime and the special services, propaganda and influence of hostile foreign countries are all factors that clearly increase the threat of terrorism. National internal security is therefore an important part of national defence, and the relevant measures and actions are closely interlinked. The function of the state is to ensure preparedness for effective action at any moment and in any situation.

2. Internal security



2. Internal security


International cooperation in combatting cybercrime In 2014, the Central Criminal Police participated in an international police operation against cybercrime, which resulted in the arrest of close to a hundred people in over ten countries. As the majority of cybercrimes are committed beyond the jurisdiction of only one country, international cooperation remains the most effective method of combatting cybercrime. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an international police operation that resulted in two Estonian citizens being charged with using the Blackshades malware for collecting the names and passwords of large numbers of computer users. The criminal proceedings revealed that since 2010 an international group of cybercriminals had been developing the Blackshades malware and selling it to over a thousand people in over a hundred countries and that the cybercriminals who had purchased the malware had infected over half a million computers.

Blackshades malware for 35 euros Once the Blackshades malware had been installed in the victim’s computer, the cybercriminals got complete access to it. They could open documents and photos, change the contents of files, steal passwords and spy on the computer user through the webcam. The Blackshades malware also allowed connecting the victim’s computer to a botnet administered by the cybercriminals and then using the victim’s com-

puter for distributed denials of service (DDOS) or for spreading junk mail. The range of options for operating unnoticed in the victim’s computer were compounded by the malware’s price, starting at 35 euros. It also did not require any deeper computer or IT knowledge. The malware was developed for and sold to future cybercriminals who lacked the necessary skills, but had the motivation.

Cybercrime as a service The above example is indicative of an emerging new cyber security threat where anyone with minimum start‑up capital may become a cybercriminal. This business model of “hacking as a service” further reduces the already low threshold of knowledge and skills keeping an ill‑intentioned computer user from actually taking up cybercrime. This trend is on the rise globally and will undoubtedly affect Estonia as well. An issue of concern in Estonia are offences committed by school students on the Internet and using a computer. A computer‑savvy child may easily become a criminal when there is no clear understanding of the line between legal and illegal cyber activity. The numbers of cybercrimes committed by minors are likely to keep rising in the coming years. Timely information and prevention efforts at home and in school play a crucial role here, and the Police and Border Guard Board also contributes where it can.

The risks of e‑residency must be taken into account Detecting and mitigating cybercrime threats requires considerable additional work and investments from state authorities as well as private companies offering e‑services. On 1 December 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board began accepting applications for Estonian e‑residency. E‑residency is available for all foreigners wishing to use Estonian public and private sector e‑services: to sign documents digitally, set up companies, declare taxes, use online banking, etc. The project has the ambitious aim of Estonia gaining 10 million new e‑residents by the year 2025. However, this also means that we are obligated to ensure the cyber security of these 10 million e‑residents. A project as ambitious as this holds various risks, which need to be mitigated effectively and promptly. If we are to encourage global consumers to use our e‑services, we have to ensure the reliability and security of the services in much more complicated circumstances. Additionally, we must keep in mind that with e‑residency we will also attract the attention of people whose interest in Estonia’s e‑services may be malicious. Digitally signed

junk mail and malware, banking and tax crime and using an e‑resident’s digital ID for encrypting criminal or terrorist communication may become regular occurrences and cause considerable financial and reputation damage. We will also certainly attract the attention of all kinds of cybercriminals and hacktivists, who may set out to compromise e‑residency and e‑services as an aim in itself. Detecting and mitigating cybercrime threats requires considerable additional work and investments from state authorities as well as private companies offering e‑services. For more on e‑residency, see p. 36.

2. Internal security


2. Internal security


Economic security equals national security Capital owners have nationalities, and in some cases this has crucial security implications. If the state has doubts regarding the owners of essential infrastructure, it must prevent the companies from being controlled by shady capital. The state must inspect the authorities of strategic areas, such as ports, the railway and aviation, and check the background of telecommunications administrators. Why is this necessary? A company of social importance may not halt its operations at times of crisis. Being inspected is a requirement to be taken into account by those who acquire infrastructure of national importance, although currently the only piece of legislation regulating such inspections is the Natural Gas Act. We must therefore proceed with establishing all areas where similar inspections are needed, and subsequently carry them out. In 2014, the focus was on gas networks, but the state’s interest certainly does not stop there.

Estonian gas supply dependent on Russia According to Eurostat, the share of gas in domestic energy consumption in 2012 amounted to 37.5% in Lithuania, 26.7% in Latvia and 8.9% in Estonia. Compared to Estonia, gas consumption is lower only in Finland (8.8%) and Sweden (2%). The countries by the Baltic Sea depend on Russian‑supplied gas to the extent of 90–100%. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the accompanying gas dispute prove that the countries’ concern over security of supply has not been unfounded. Natural gas is imported into Estonia only from Gazprom, and Eesti Gaas supplies over 90% of the retail market. The transmission networks of Eesti Gaas are owned by Elering AS (51.38%), OAO Gazprom (37.03%), Itera Latvija SIA (10.02%) and small shareholders (1.57%). The Estonian gas market is provided addition-

al flexibility by the Inčukalns underground gas reservoir, solely owned by Gazprom. The Estonian territory accommodates sections of the transit pipeline between Pskov and Riga (2 x 21.3 km, altogether 42.6 km) and the accompanying gas measuring and distribution stations in Misso, which play a crucial role in national energy security. These are currently in the use of AS EG Võrguteenus, based on a rental contract with Eesti Gaas. The transit pipeline is used for filling the underground gas reservoir in Inčukalns Latvia, which also supplies Estonia with natural gas. The same reservoir is also used for supplying Latvia and parts of north-western Russia.

Security of supply must improve The security of gas supply in Estonia is threatened by the nature and physical infrastructure of the sole supplier, OAO Gazprom. Estonia’s annual consumption of natural gas amounts to 0.6 billion  m3, and that of all three Baltic States to 5.5  billion m3. Finland’s annual gas consumption is 4.5 billion m3. We must achieve security of gas supply in order to be prepared for possible interruptions of supply. Estonia’s security of supply could be improved by expanding connections among the networks of Baltic States and establishing the BalticConnector gas pipe connection with Finland. One potential solution for the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian gas markets lies in developing the gas market of the Baltic States by concentrating on supplies of liquefied natural gas and on creating a gas connection between Estonia and Finland.

Ex‑ante inspection of transactions regarding gas transmission networks According to the Natural Gas Act, an undertaking wishing to acquire a gas transmission network must

Estonia’s annual consumption of natural gas amounts to 0.6 billion m3, and that of all three Baltic States to 5.5 billion m3.

request that the Ministry of the Interior assess the transaction’s compliance with internal security. The inspection targets the gas transmission network, the acquisition of property and stock transactions, where the assessment will include the impact of both individual shareholders and groups of shareholders on the owner of the transmission network. In 2014, the Ministry of the Interior inspected Fortum Heat and Gas OY, who wished to acquire the 33.66 per cent share of E.ON Ruhrgas in the public limited company Võrguteenus Valdus, which managed the Estonian gas transmission network. The inspection concluded that the transmission network acquisition

of Fortum Heat and Gas OY is in compliance with the Natural Gas Act and national internal security. An important development in terms of national economic security was that the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that Elering AS also complied with internal security, which allowed the company to complete the acquisition of 51.38% of the shares of Fortum Heat and Gas OY, which gave Elering AS majority holding in Võrguteenus Valdus and control over the gas transmission network.

Strategic infrastructure may not fall into hostile hands


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Estonian natural gas network. Figure by: AS EG Võrguteenus

2. Internal security




Citizenship and migration

Last year, we introduced several changes in the areas of migration, citizenship and identity management with the aim of improving the development level of Estonian society and national competitiveness and making people’s lives more comfortable. The domains of migration, citizenship and identity management involve various parties, interests, risks and development needs. In order to manage these aspects and to identify and implement the best solutions conducive to Estonia’s development, the domains should be approached in an integrated, knowledge‑based, inclusive and forward‑looking manner. In addition to the basic values of the constitution of Estonia, migration and identity management policies also depend on the agreed common policy of the European Union, as a threat to the security of one Member State may affect the entire Schengen area. Legislation, the coalition agreement and the programme of the government provide the guidelines for putting these values and principles into action. No area can develop without the joint efforts of the various parties. For this reason, in recent years the Ministry of the Interior has included over 35 partner organisations in the domains of migration and identity management, and the resulting network has contributed to the amendments of the Aliens Act and the Identity Documents Act and the regulation on an adaptation programme for foreigners. The contributions of the partners from various sectors further reinforce the social dimension of the amendments and support their implementation.

The focus of migration policy: manage‑ ment of migration flows and inclusion Birgit Lüüs Deputy Head of the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department

In recent years, Estonia has taken a direction towards an increasingly balanced migration policy in order to foster the arrival and adaptation of immigrants who offer added value to society, and to prevent the misuse of residence permits. Both emigration and immigration change the population composition of a state to a smaller or larger degree. In addition to positive impacts, such as economic development, innovation, internationalisation of different areas and helping to meet workforce needs, migration could also result in tensions associated with the receptiveness of permanent residents and security. We must also keep in mind that a considerable share of mi-

gration is made up of the types of migration that cannot be limited quantitatively or qualitatively, primarily family migration and granting international protection, which is why migration flows should be viewed as a whole. Therefore, important prerequisites for meeting migration policy aims are an attractive socio-economic environment, appropriate adaptation measures, support and partner networks, in‑depth solutions for combatting any misuse and the general openness of society towards immigrants. Estonian immigration flows have not changed considerably over the past years. In the past five years, the largest number of temporary residence permits have been issued to Ukrainian, Russian and US citizens, and this trend continued in 2014. Of European Union Members States, the largest numbers of arrivals are from Finland, Germany and Latvia. In 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board issued 4,060 temporary residence permits and 3,044 European Union citizens registered their place of residence in the Estonian population register.

3. Citizenship and migration


3. Citizenship and migration



In 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board issued 4,060 temporary residence permits and 3,044 European Union citizens registered their place of residence in the Estonian population register.

Immigration of citizens of third countries TOP 10 (2014) Russia




Undetermined citizenship


United States














Temporary residence permits granted Source: Police and Border Guard Board

Immigration of European Union citizens TOP 10 (2014) Finland


















Czech Republic


Citizens of the European Union registered as Estonian residents in the population register Source: Population register

Although immigrants from third countries come to Estonia mainly because of family migration, employers have indicated that recruiting employees from abroad has also been necessary in certain cases. Considering population forecasts and experiences in recruiting from the Estonian labour market, we see that it is increasingly complicated to find employees with the necessary qualifications and skills from the local labour market.

Inclusion contributes to a balanced migration policy Considering that migration policy affects the private, third and public sectors alike, we need to include these parties in policymaking, as it is only through discussions that we can come up with the solutions and options that ensure national development and security in the best possible manner. When preparing the amendments to the Aliens Act and the adaptation programme, the Ministry of the Interior assembled over 35 partners from various ministries, umbrella organisations, non‑profit organisations, local government associations, higher education institutions and companies. Their contribution to policymaking used to be limited to submitting their positions, whereas now the discussions preceding the preparation of the amendments gave everyone an opportunity to follow the discussions, present their arguments and gain a better understanding of the main issues, the interests and needs of other parties and the roles of various ministries in making choices. The wider inclusion efforts were launched in 2012, when we began preparing the amendments to the Aliens Act together with our partners. The aim was to contribute to improving Estonia’s competitiveness, so that the needed top executives, researchers and students would

Although adaptation programmes are nothing new in Europe, this type of flexible programme aimed at all immigrants is innovative and the first of its kind in Estonia.

relocate to Estonia. The amendments entered into force in 2013. They also confirmed the need for drafting an adaptation programme for newly arrived immigrants.

We support the adaptation of newly arrived immigrants In late 2013, we further expanded the range of partners and included the representatives of civil society organisations and companies operating in the field of migration, with the aim of preparing an adaptation programme for newly arrived immigrants, to enter into force in August 2015. Alongside the preparation of the adaptation programme, we received the first in‑depth qualitative study on the migration process and adaptation of newly arrived immigrants (Institute of Baltic Studies, 2014). The foreigners and recruiting organisations who were interviewed emphasised the difficulties in accessing information regarding everyday practicalities and the functioning of the state; the adaptation programme was created to offer a solution to this. The adaptation programme is an action plan supporting foreigners in adapting, consisting of roughly day‑long learning modules on various topics and providing information to foreigners regarding the functioning of the Estonian state and society, daily life, working, studying and family matters, and also contributing to learning the Estonian language. Although adaptation programmes are nothing new in Europe, this type of flexible programme aimed at all immigrants is innovative and the first of its kind in Estonia.

Legislative amendments create more flexibility In 2013 and 2014 we continued working in groups on the second phase of amending the Aliens Act, where one of the aims was to make it more conven-

ient to switch from one type of migration to another. The amendments also allow for issuing temporary residence permits for permanently settling in Estonia to people who have lived in Estonia for at least three years. The amendments, entering into force in 2016, allow foreigners to work for several employers at a time as well as a 90‑day transition period after the expiration of a residence permit, during which the foreigner may stay in Estonia and apply for a residence permit on new grounds. The transition period lasts 183 days for international students who have graduated from an Estonian university, researchers and teaching staff. The aim of the amendments is to approach the migration process as a whole, i.e. to begin by making it easier for the workforce necessary for Estonia and international students and their family members to come to Estonia, and to support them in adapting to a new society by giving them necessary information and support and the opportunity to switch between types of migration, as their circumstances change. This way, we allow the foreigners already operating successfully in Estonia to continue contributing to the development of our country.

3. Citizenship and migration


3. Citizenship and migration


Interest in the e‑resident’s digital ID greater than expected

Mariann Kirsipuu Adviser of the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department

On 1 December, Estonia became the first country in the world to take its e‑state and digital services to a global level: we began issuing an e‑resident’s digital identity. By mid‑January, 650 people had already applied for the virtual identity card and 463 documents had been issued. For now, we have received applications from 57 countries, 239 from Finland, 118 from Russia, 39 from Latvia, 36 from the United States and 24 from the United Kingdom, but also from New Zealand, Venezuela, Japan, Sri Lanka and Mexico. The e‑resident’s digital ID puts foreigners on an equal footing with Estonian residents by allowing them universal access to the e‑services of the Estonian public and private sector and the opportunity to sign documents digitally. The digital ID makes conducting everyday business as easy and secure for e‑residents as it is for Estonian citizens and the foreigners who reside here permanently. Signing documents digitally saves from hassle and bureaucracy, making it more flexible and effective to conduct economic, research and educational activities with international components. E-residency makes it more convenient for companies to operate in the Estonian economic environment, which increases its attractiveness. Therefore, the digital ID is also useful for the state: it helps attract investments, create jobs and reinforces the image of Estonia as a smart e‑state.

Conducting business with an e‑resident is easier and faster In addition to conducting business, e‑residency allows people to use Estonian digital services. This makes administrative procedures easier and faster for Estonian companies, institutions and people engaged in international cooperation. Last year, the Ministry of the Interior drew up an amendment to the Identity Documents Act for issuing the e‑resident’s digital ID, establishing the bases for issuing and declining to issue the document and the requirements for monitoring the use of the e‑resident’s digital ID and for declaring it invalid. There are two alternative prerequisites for issuing an e‑resident’s digital ID: either the person is already associated with the Estonian state (e.g. social, family or economic ties), or they have a justified interest in using the e‑services of the Estonian state (e.g. an interest in setting up or operating a business in Estonia or a wish to use the e‑services for personal interest).

Digital ID is secure E‑crime, e‑identity theft, e‑fraud and e‑terrorism are nothing new; the various types of crimes have simply moved from the physical world to the digital world. Therefore, the primary prerequisite for issuing an e‑resident’s digital ID is identifying the document applicant by biometric data, i.e. fingerprints and a photo. Currently, potential e‑residents have to apply for and retrieve the document in person in a Police and Border Guard Board office. However, the Ministry of the Interior is planning to make the e‑resident’s digital ID issuing procedure as customer friendly as possible by allowing foreign representations to receive digital ID applications and to issue the documents.

The digital ID makes conducting everyday business as easy and secure for e‑residents as it is for Estonian citizens and the foreigners who reside here permanently.

Applicants undergo a thorough background check In order to prevent any misuse, the digital ID applicants undergo a thorough background check to confirm their reliability. An important aspect of the digital ID is that it is a benefit offered by the Estonian state and not a right. This means that for security reasons and to prevent malicious acts, the state may also decline to issue the document, or if the state suspects that the document has been misused, its validity may be suspended and the document revoked.

The private sector also plays an important role in preventing and detecting criminal use, and the state actively cooperates with the private sector in monitoring the use of the documents. As service providers have the most immediate information on the potential misuse of their service, they are the ones who can detect any deviations from the usual behaviour patterns. Service providers are obligated to report any offences they have detected to the Police and Border Guard Board, who can proceed with checking the facts.

Principles of issuing an e‑resident’s digital ID • The digital ID is issued to e‑residency applicants for use in good faith and for performing legal transactions. The person’s reliability and use of the digital ID is checked upon issuing the document and during its period of validity. • The state is responsible only for the initial identification of the person and by issuing the document, does not assume responsibility for the user’s illegal behaviour. As is the case with any identity document, forging the e‑­resident’s digital ID and using a forged document are crimes. • The identification of an e‑resident is based on biometric data to rule out the possibility of creating and using several identities in Estonia.

3. Citizenship and migration


3. Citizenship and migration


Estonia’s first e‑resident to bring his company here On 1 December last year, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves presented the first Estonian e‑resident’s certificate to Edward Lucas, a journalist of The Economist.

Lucas said that he had been waiting for an opportunity to get an Estonian ID card ever since they were first issued and that he would probably register his company in Estonia now. Why did you choose to become an e‑resident? It’s something I had always wanted, ever since Estonia first had these digital ID cards. When you developed the e‑government, I could see that the system here worked really well and I thought it would be really cool to have one. And particularly now that digital signatures are so important on the Internet everywhere, it means I can send authenticated e‑mail, I can send encrypted e‑mail. It means I can use it in any European country where they accept the digital ID. It’s something that my own country, Britain, doesn’t actually offer. I very much wanted to have one of these cards.

What makes it unique? Only that we are the first or is there something else? There are lots of digital IDs around. I think what makes the Estonian one so important is that Estonia has such a track record of successful e‑government. You’ve done an e‑government which has huge public confidence and acceptance and penetration; it’s just the normal part of life here, nothing special. It’s something that works really well. There’s a high level of trust and there have been very few worries about security or privacy. This is something that elsewhere in Europe just doesn’t work; I can’t pay my taxes in Britain nice and easily, the way you can here in Estonia. Obviously, as I live in Britain, I have to pay British taxes, not Estonian ones, but there are things I can do with my Estonian digital ID in Britain that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and I’m really looking forward to that.

What is the first thing you will do with your e‑residency card? I think the very first thing I will do is send an e‑mail to Toomas Hendrik Ilves and he will send an e‑mail back to me. And that would be a very good symbolic thing. And at some point I may set up a company in Estonia because I run a freelance news business and I don’t see why I can’t run that in Estonia instead of in London. Maybe I’ll open a bank account as well. I’ll see, there are many possibilities. I’ll also use it when I’m doing anything with government websites elsewhere in Europe. I think I can even use it to buy German train tickets, I’ve discovered. The video interview with Edward Lucas was published on the website of the newspaper Postimees on 1 December 2014.

Marge Tubalkain Estonia’s first e‑resident Edward Lucas praises the Estonian e‑government. Photo by: Mari Pukk

Business reporter for Postimees

Acquiring citizenship becomes more flexible

Siiri Leskov Adviser of the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department

Less children without citizenship In order to remedy the situation where children are born in Estonia with undetermined citizenship, in 2014 the Ministry of the Interior prepared amendments to the Citizenship Act that will enter into force on 1 January 2016. The legislative amendments stipulate that minors under the age of 15 who were born in Estonia or settle permanently in Estonia with their parents immediately after being born are granted Estonian citizenship at birth by way of naturalisation. As a prerequisite, the parents or the single parent of the minor may not be citizens of any other country and must have resided legally in Estonia for at least five years at the time of the child’s birth.

Once the legislative amendments have entered into force, the children of parents with undetermined citizenship become Estonian citizens by way of naturalisation at birth. Estonian citizenship is acquired either by birth or by way of naturalisation. A child becomes a citizen by birth if at least one parent is an Estonian citizen at the time of the child’s birth. The children born in Estonia to citizens of other countries or persons with undetermined citizenship do not become Estonian citizens by birth. According to the data of the Police and Border Guard Board of 1 January 2015, there were 88,076 persons with undetermined citizenship who had a valid residence permit or right of residence, and 876 of them were children under the age of 15. According to the population register, the number of children born to parents or a single parent with undetermined citizenship was 304 in 2013 and 360 in 2014. We can therefore tentatively forecast that the number of children born with undetermined citizenship may be roughly 300 a year New Estonian citizens receive citizenship certificates along with their very own natioin the coming years. nal flags at the citizenship ceremonies held several times a year. Photo by: Rene Riisalu

3. Citizenship and migration


3. Citizenship and migration


The number of children born with undetermi‑ ned citizenship is forecast to be roughly 300 a year in the coming years.

If these requirements are met, the parents no longer have to apply for their child’s citizenship using a simplified procedure; it is granted automatically at the child’s birth. At the same time, the parents may also waive their child’s right to Estonian citizenship within one year of the child’s birth. The children whose parents have waived their right to Estonian citizenship at birth may resume it later on, if they wish to.

Multiple citizenship is a problem There have also been cases where a child born in Estonia to parents with undetermined citizenship has been granted citizenship by way of naturalisation and where the parents have proceeded to apply for the citizenship of another country for the child. Therefore, the child has dual citizenship, which is prohibited in Estonia according to the Citizenship Act. When the Police and Border Guard Board finds out that a child is a citizen of both Estonia and another country, the procedure to withdraw Estonian citizenship is initiated. The child’s parents are ordered to apply for withdrawal of the child’s other citizenship if the child is to maintain Estonian citizenship. However, some countries decline to withdraw only the citizenship of a minor. As a result, there have been situations where the parents wish the child to maintain Estonian citizenship and to have the other withdrawn, but this is not possible, and the Police and Border Guard Board consequently withdraws the child’s Estonian citizenship. Due to these aspects, the Riigikogu passed an amendment to the Citizenship Act this January, stipu-

lating that minors who have acquired or been granted both Estonian and another citizenship, must give up one of the citizenships within three years after reaching adulthood. The current Citizenship Act provided this opportunity only for those who had acquired citizenship by birth. As a result, the children who have been granted Estonian citizenship by way of naturalisation will be in the same situation as the children who have become Estonian citizens by birth, regardless of whether they have acquired the other citizenship before or after having been granted Estonian citizenship.

Estonian exam made easier for seniors An additional aim was to make it easier for seniors to become Estonian citizens. According to the current Citizenship Act, people born before 1 January 1930 are exempt from the written part of the Estonian language exam. The legislative amendment aims at extending the age limit of the exception to at least 65 years in order to make it easier to pass the language exam, which may increase naturalisation among senior persons. We cannot forecast exactly how many people at least 65 years of age would take the simplified language exam as a result of the legislative amendment, as we do not have the data on how many of them pass on taking the exam precisely because of the written part. On 1 January 2015, there were 16,027 persons at least 65 years of age with undetermined citizenship and 35,226 persons of the same age range with another citizenship living in Estonia. Therefore, the amendment potentially concerns 51,253 people.

I wanted to finally be an Estonian citizen! I am not a foreigner. Although my parents are from Russia, all of my ancestors originate from Estonia. We spoke Russian at home, but communicated in Estonian with my grandmother. When the border was opened in 1947, we came back to Estonia with our father. I went to study at a vocational school and began speaking Estonian as best I could. Applying for citizenship was very complicated for me. The Estonian side gave the green light already in 2012, but it took four years for Kazakhstan to withdraw my citizenship. They kept losing my documents and there was a lot of paperwork. Finally, I wrote a complaint to President Nursultan Nazarbayev and my wish was granted. My sisters and brothers also wondered why I needed this, but I didn’t give up; I wanted to switch citizenship at my old age because being an Estonian, I wanted to die as an Estonian citizen. Everything was clear from the Estonian side, the documents were issued swiftly with no hang-ups. It is very easy for us Estonians to apply for citizenship. I do find it hard to understand why I had to even take these exams. I am an Estonian, my home is here, nowhere else. The exams were of course easy, as I have a higher education and speak fluent Estonian. I haven’t missed out on anything on account of not having citizenship. I have worked for 49 years: first here in the Ministry of Finance for 25 years and then in the Ministry in Kazakhstan for 21 years. My pension comes from Kazakhstan, of course, but that is a small matter compared to everything else. I get by nicely and I’m satisfied with everything. Now my heart is at peace as well.

Elfrida Kardach (84) The eldest person to be granted citizenship in 2014 Photo by: Rene Riisalu

3. Citizenship and migration




Border surveillance

A secure border improves internal security Ülle Väina Adviser of the Border Guard Policy Department

In border policy, the priority for the next five years is to clean up and finish building the land border line between Estonia and Russia. “Estonia has become a frontline state,” noted President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at a meeting with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Estonia. The definition of a frontline may vary: it may be an abstract notion, e.g. an invisible line between the virtual and the real world, but it may also be construed directly as a state border. In terms of guarding the border, the state border is, in fact, the frontline in combatting cross‑border crime and illegal immigration and in carrying out national defence tasks. The fact that the border with the Russian Federation guarded and defended by Estonia is a temporary border line does not change the significance or nature of the guarding and defending. In view of the progress and duration of the current border negotiations, it is not possible for us to remain in wait for the border agreement; we have to press on with cleaning up and finishing building the temporary border line. By guarding and defending the temporary border line, we contribute to the internal security and national defence of Estonia and other countries. We should also realise that national defence does not entail actions with a military aim only, but also non‑military actions and internal security, which are as important as military defence and which ensure a secure living environment in a country. Ensuring internal security is one of the main strands of national defence, and guarding the border is an important component of internal security.

Estonia guards the external border of the Schengen Area Estonia guards the external border of the Schengen Area in the length of 1,105.6 km, of which 767  km are sea border and 338.6  km land border. The border guard is guided in its actions by the Schengen acquis and the principles of integrated border management, which focus on patrolling and risk analysis, inspecting documents at the border, investigating cross‑border crime together with the internal security authorities of other countries, the work of liaison officers in third countries and other types of international cooperation. In addition to implementing border control, carrying out rescue operations in transboundary water bodies and at sea and flight search and rescue, and detecting and eliminating marine pollution, one of the core tasks of border administration is border patrol. The land section of the temporary border line guarded by Estonia begins at the intersection of the state borders of the Republic of Estonia, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Latvia in the middle of Pededze River and ends at the mouth of Narva River, where the marine area boundaries begin. Of the total length of the border line, 135.6  km run along the land border and the rest along Lake Peipsi and Narva River. The border line along Lake Peipsi and Narva River is guarded using a system of radars and video surveillance cameras, which are supported by foot and vehicle patrols of the border guard stations. The land border is guarded mostly by foot and vehicle patrols. The border guard uses modern equipment for water and land patrolling: launches, motorboats, hovercrafts, all‑terrain vehicles, motor sledges and offroad vehicles.

4. Border surveillance


4. Border surveillance



Temporary border line Border guard station




Border guard service

Punamäe Alajõe





Värska Saatse Piusa


The temporary Estonian border line and border guard units

The entire external border to be equipped with technical surveillance by 2020 Estonia’s sea border is guarded using a marine surveillance system made up of radars detecting the movement of all vessels in the Estonian exclusive economic zone and territorial waters. Where needed, objects moving at sea are also detected with the help of ships and aircraft, and marine surveillance capabilities are updated constantly with various equipment. About 60% of the Schengen external border is currently equipped with technical surveillance and the aim is to have the entire external border under technical surveillance by 2020. The priority for the next five years is to clean up and finish building the land section of the border line. As the land border cannot be built up without a clearly demarcated border strip, the confusion around the border strip and its exact delineation and ownership will also have to be cleared up after years of debating.

The majority of the properties on the border strip are currently privately owned but they should be owned by the state, as right now it is complicated or even impossible to clean up and finish building the border strip. Consequently, one of our priorities this year is to transfer the land under the border strip from private owners, so that it can be cleaned and built up and equipped with technical surveillance without any obstacles.

IT border surveillance Finishing building the land section of the border line involves equipping it with an integrated system of sensors and cameras, which allows resolving border incidents in real time. The automatic technical surveillance system based on an integrated IT platform detects and identifies objects along three lines: at the border strip, in its immediate vicinity and inland, and it minimises the time it takes for units to process information and respond to incidents.

A border is ideal when each meter is guarded and defended 24 hours a day, and any incident on any meter can be detected and backed up by evidence

As an added value, we can use the information collected by the sensor systems as evidence when processing border‑related offences and resolving disputes with the border guard of a neighbouring country. Years ago, we stated that borders are guarded using human resources supported by technical surveillance, whereas now our longer‑term goal is to be able to say that borders are guarded using modern technical capabilities with support from human resources. In terms of ensuring internal security, a border can

be considered ideal when all illegal cross‑border activities are detected. An ideal border ensures that when violated, the colleagues from a neighbouring country have no way to contest the violation and claim that nothing illegal has occurred. A border is ideal when each meter is guarded and defended 24 hours a day, and any incident on any meter can be detected and backed up by evidence. The current conditions are not ideal, but the needs have been recognised and the relevant objectives have been set.

The border line along Lake Peipsi and Narva River is guarded using a system of radars and video surveillance cameras, which is supported by foot and vehicle patrols of the border guard stations. The border guard uses modern equipment for water and land patrolling: launches, motorboats, hovercrafts, all‑terrain vehicles, motor sledges and off-road vehicles.

4. Border surveillance


4. Border surveillance


Modernisation of Narva border crossing point to be completed this summer Janek Mägi Deputy Head of the Border Guard Policy Department

Expanding the Narva border crossing point turned out to be much more expensive than planned and will cost a little over 10 million euros. Narva border crossing point has the most traffic in Estonia; about 3.5 million border crossers passed through last year. This makes up as much as 63% of all eastern border crossers. While the numbers of border crossers have reduced in other border crossing points for various reasons, they are increasing year by year in Narva. The current border crossing point was completed in 1994–1997. The unit did not meet the border crossing traffic needs even then, and the situation has only worsened in 17 years, plus the facilities have also depreciated. The average waiting period in the regular line at Narva road border crossing point is about two hours during weekdays and about four hours during weekends and public holidays. During high tourism season, for example in July, the average waiting period may reach 45 hours. In 2011, an electronic border crossing queue was introduced and as a result, drivers can plan their time better without having to physically stand in line. Pedestrians, however, cannot reserve a spot electronically and still have to stand in a queue, which may reach hundreds of meters during high season. As the terminal for pedestrians is so small, they have to queue outside, in freezing cold of sometimes up to minus 30 degrees, in the heat, in the rain or in a snow storm.

Four lanes and four inspection cabins completed It was decided to fund the reconstruction of the border crossing point from the European Union Estonian‑Latvian‑Russian transnational cooperation programme for 2007–2013, and preparatory work began in 2010 by mapping out needs and drawing up a budget. Mainly due to the complicated nature of managing an international project, the cooperation agreements were signed only in February 2013. Following a tender, design work was also launched at that time. According to the plan, Narva border crossing point was to get two bus lanes, 12 car lanes and eight inspection cabins for pedestrians. Currently, there are two bus lanes, two car lanes and four inspection cabins for pedestrians: two for incoming and two for outgoing pedestrian traffic. The reconstruction of the Narva pedestrian bridge and the accompanying border crossing point was also added to the initial reconstruction plan of the road border crossing point. Once renovation is complete, the capacity of the border crossing point will increase 50% and border crossing will be much more comfortable and much faster and safer for border crossers. The number of border control desks will increase from the current 14 to 26. The final deadline for using the programme’s support was 31 December 2014, and the planned construction budget for Estonia was 4,506,400 euros.

The new tender doubled the cost In February last year, the public tenders for reconstructing the border crossing points were announced, which resulted in construction costs amounting to 9,388,852 euros. This exceeded the budget initially planned by Riigi Kinnisvara AS (State Real Estate Ltd.) by 4,882,452 euros, which means that the cost of renovating the border crossing points roughly doubled.

Despite the gaps in funding and a tight sche‑ dule, we still hope to welcome border crossers at the new border crossing point in June 2015.

As the reconstruction of border crossing points was inevitable, the Ministry of Finance allocated, by request of the Ministry of the Interior, another 2.2 million euros to the project, which was then still short by about 2.7 million euros. Nevertheless, the project was resumed in a downscaled format, with the reconstruction of the truck terminal, construction of the bus stop and pedestrian gallery, renovation of former offices and reconstruction of the pedestrian bridge and the accompanying border crossing point left pending.

Remains of 90 people dug out from under the border crossing point As if the project had not been problematic enough, excavation work revealed in July that the border crossing point was located at the site of an old burial ground from the 17th and 18th centuries, and excavation was halted for archaeological exploration. The workers found walls of old buildings and facilities un-

der the border crossing point as well as the remains of 90 people, which were taken to the laboratory to be analysed and will later be reburied. Due to the archaeological findings, a part of the border crossing point had to be redesigned. This, in turn, increased the cost of the project by over 600,000 euros, and it became clear that the European Union funds would not be used up in due time, by the end of 2014. Thanks to a swift and efficient response by the Ministry of the Interior, the European Commission agreed to extend the eligibility period until the end of 2015, and the additional funding of 636,000 euros required for redesigning the border crossing point was also secured. This increased the project’s total cost to 10,024,852 euros. Despite the gaps in funding and a tight schedule, we still hope to welcome border crossers at the new border crossing point, the most modern in the European Union, in June 2015.

The workers found walls of old buildings and facilities under the border crossing point as well as the remains of 90 people, which were taken to the laboratory to be analysed and will later be reburied. Photo by: Police and Border Guard Board

4. Border surveillance



4. Border surveillance


The number of marine rescue incidents increases every year Statistics on persons in distress 2010–2014

Marit Mätik Adviser of the Border Guard Policy Department

Did you know that Estonia’s sea border is 768 km long, that the length of the coastline extends to 3,794 km and that our marine area covers 36,260 km²? The aim of marine and flight rescue is to ensure sufficient national preparedness and capability to respond to marine and air transportation emergencies or accidents promptly and professionally. The main function of any rescue operation is to save human lives and limit damage to property and the environment. Statistics on marine rescue incidents indicate that the number of search and rescue missions increases every year; the number of people in distress and rescued has also increased considerably. Flight rescue incidents are very rare; fortunately, we have not had any in recent years. However, we should still be prepared.

Persons in distress (2010–2014) Year



Rescued themselves































Rescued Persons in people distress

Search and rescue missions at sea and in transboundary water bodies, i.e. in the Estonian rescue area, are the responsibility of the Police and Border Guard Board, who responds to incidents with its fleet and flight squadron and where needed, with patrol units of prefectures. In addition to rescue work, the fleet and the flight squadron are also tasked with controlling and monitoring marine pollution and guarding the state border. Marine and flight rescue incidents are managed by the marine and flight rescue coordination centre (JRCC Tallinn), which also guards the Estonian sea border and ensures public order in the marine area. In response to a request from another state, JRCC Tallinn may also lead search and rescue missions in the jurisdiction of a foreign state.

A hundred different watercraft At the end of 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board had in its use close to a hundred different watercraft, including four ships, launches, motorboats and hovercrafts, which allow responding to incidents. The Board’s flight squadron has four helicopters and three airplanes. The aircraft are permanently based in Tallinn, but there is also a station in Kuressaare, improving readiness and response time to incidents within the entire jurisdiction. When responding to marine rescue events in coastal waters, the Police and Border Guard Board’s resources are backed up by the Rescue Board’s special rescue units with corresponding capabilities. There are 21 national rescue units with water rescue capabilities near the coastal area, and 10–15 of them have the potential to expand their capabilities to respond to rescue incidents in the coastal area. This requires providing the staff of the rescue units additional training, and updating and improving their equipment.

Statistics on marine rescue incidents indicate that the number of search and rescue missions increa‑ ses every year; the number of people in distress and rescued has also increased considerably.

For example, it was decided in 2014 that new Rigid Inflatable Boats would be provided by the 2015 navigation season to four rescue units: those of Paldiski, Häädemeeste, Käina and Orissaare. We are also planning to improve the capabilities of four other rescue units in 2015.

The Rescue Act amended to develop marine rescue efforts In order to improve the quality and response time of marine rescue efforts and to clarify how the Police and Border Guard Board and the Rescue Board are to respond to marine rescue incidents in coastal waters, the Ministry of the Interior began amending the Rescue Act in 2014. The aim was to clarify the rules regarding marine rescue incidents in coastal waters, based on the premise that the Police and Border Guard Board is also the main responsible body for marine rescue incidents that take place in coastal waters. Inter‑agency cooperation in cases of marine rescue incidents in coastal

waters is based on the principle of providing the fastest possible assistance, which means that the nearest equipped unit is the first to respond to an incident. In addition to using state resources for responding to marine rescue incidents, the Police and Border Guard Board also involves volunteer marine rescue associations that have concluded civil law contracts with the Board. In 2014, the Board had concluded contracts with 29 volunteer marine rescue associations. Where possible, private sector resources are also used for responding to marine rescue incidents. The development trends and target situation of marine rescue are set out in the programme “Ensuring efficient rescue capabilities” of the Internal Security Development Plan until 2020. The main development objectives are to improve the capabilities of rescue units located near the coast and transboundary water bodies in order to save lives by responding to incidents in coastal waters, to update technology and equipment, to plan the joint use of resources and to respond to incidents jointly.

At the end of 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board had in its use close to a hundred different watercraft, including four ships, launches, motorboats and hovercrafts, which allow responding to incidents. The Board’s flight squadron has four helicopters and three airplanes. Photo by: Ivar Treffner

4. Border surveillance




Rescue work

5. Rescue work


Fire safety improved in over 10,000 homes in a year Helen Ojamaa Adviser of the Rescue and Crisis Management Policy Department

The staff of all 72 rescue units began making fire safety home visits as of last year. Last year, the Rescue Board’s prevention efforts focussed on counselling people on fire safety in their homes, i.e. home visits. The rescuers visited over 7,800 homes during the year, and if we add to this the checks carried out by the state supervision over fire safety, there are now over 10,000 homes in Estonia with better fire safety. While prevention workers, fire safety supervision officials and volunteers have been visiting families in Estonia since 2006, the role of rescuers has now increased. In May last year, the staff of all 72 rescue units in Estonia began visiting homes. When responding to a fire, the accident and the resulting damage have already taken place. The efforts to prevent this involve the help of rescuers, who are considered reliable and esteemed experts among the population and who can contribute to prevention in‑between calls. The aim of the home visits made by rescuers is to assess the fire safety situation and risks in people’s homes and to advise them on how to make their homes safer. It is important to reach the homes with the greatest need for advice and assistance. Unfortunately, we are not able to identify all those in need of help and prevent all fire deaths.

56% of fire deaths occurred in spaces without smoke detectors According to operational information collected by the Ministry of the Interior, there were 54 fire deaths in 2014,

and a quarter of them occurred in December. Nineteen people died in a fire caused by careless smoking, and 18 of them had been smoking either in bed, on a couch or in an armchair. Careless use of open fire resulted in the deaths of 11 people, and six of the fires began with a burning candle. According to the available information, two-thirds of the victims were drunk. Fifty-six per cent of the fires resulting in deaths occurred in spaces without smoke detectors. Despite having a properly installed smoke detector that also went off when the fire began, the lives of four people could not be saved: they were all seniors over the age of 80, living alone. According to a survey commissioned by the Rescue Board in 2013, 88% of families have installed a smoke detector at home, 28% have a fire distinguisher and 35% of families have a family member who smokes at home.

Number of home visits 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0




Rescuers (units) Experts and volunteers Fire safety supervision



5. Rescue work


A smoke detector belongs in the ceiling When conducting home visits, rescuers have seen very inventive ways to install smoke detectors. For example, some families have attached the smoke detector on the side or on top of a kitchen cabinet standing close to the stove. Others have found a place for the detector on the doorpost. In all such cases, the experts helped to find a better place for the smoke detector, where it could function properly. Not having a smoke detector in a dwelling means that fire safety requirements are not met. According to the requirements, a smoke detector in a dwelling should be appropriately installed in the ceiling, following the instructions accompanying the specific models. The detector must be connected to a battery. The


functioning of the smoke detector is checked during the home visit by pressing the test button. This should be done by everyone at regular intervals to make sure that the detector signals an accident in due time. During their prevention visits, the rescuers have also come across various erroneous behaviours and beliefs, which should be corrected and kept in mind. For example, it certainly is not safe to dry firewood on a stove, to make a fire in a broken stove or to repair electrical appliances without the necessary skills. Smoking should also be reserved for outdoors. The rescuers have pointed out these issues to people and encouraged them to have more consideration for their own safety and that of their loved ones, so as to reduce the numbers of fire deaths and injuries and damage to people’s property.

It certainly is not safe to dry firewood on a stove, to make a fire in a broken stove or to repair electrical appliances without the necessary skills.

It is important to reach the homes with the greatest need for advice and assistance.

Rescuers are respected The rescuers have noticed during home visits that people regard them with trust and even a slight awe; after all, they arrive in their large and impressive rescue trucks. As a result, people have hurried up already before the agreed home visit and many smaller village stores have suddenly run out of suitable batteries. The rescuers have received primarily positive feedback; the families are welcoming and willing to heed their advice. Although the home visits are a noble effort by the rescuers, we should all keep in mind that fire safety begins with ourselves.

To keep your home safe from fire, remember this: • Open fire, for example a burning candle, requires supervision and a controlled environment. • Keep your hearths in working order and be careful when making a fire. • When switching on various electrical appliances at once, take care not to overload the circuits. • Have broken electrical appliances repaired by a skilled specialist. • It is better to smoke outdoors. • To ensure that the smoke detector will save lives when needed, press the test button at least once a month.

5. Rescue work


5. Rescue work


The multifunctional village community centre of Mäe-Suhka. Photo by: Väle Prutt

Volunteer rescue facilities go well with village community centres A new village community centre was opened on 19 December last year in Mäe‑Suhka village in Haanja municipality, which also contains a garage for rescue trucks. In early 2009, the Rescue Board and Haanja municipality administration suggested for me to take charge of the dwindled local volunteer rescue work. By now, we have just opened a multifunctional village community centre in Mäe‑Suhka village, and its garage accommodates two ZIL rescue trucks, previously used by professional rescuers. The first floor of the building houses a furnished meeting room and facilities, fit for accommodating a small rescue crew when needed. The idea to attach a garage for rescue trucks to a village community centre was not new in itself: this was a tried and tested mode of coexistence in many

places already at the time of the previous Republic of Estonia. Already back then, active and progressive citizens used to gather around fire stations as volunteer fire fighters, who also entertained the villagers and developed local community life. In the same vein, we built the community centre of Mäe-Suhka village using a lot of volunteer work and our own construction materials. Part of the funding, 60,000 euros, was provided by the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) under the rural community life development measure, and when we were facing difficulties in the final stages of construction, the Ministry of the Interior was of great help, by providing some 24,000 euros. The final total cost of construction amounted to about 120,000 euros. The building was completed without having to apply for a bank loan.

We also had some obstacles to conquer. After having done serious preparatory work, spent money and received notice of funding from the ARIB, we were startled to learn that the entire building had to be completed in two years, by 10 July 2012. The support from the ARIB covered only close to half of the budget. Another surprise was that the basement works had to be halted because of groundwater, and we had to install a spill line. The obligation to build a water point for fire fighters and several other unscheduled costs were also added to this. We were very glad to have a local small construction company, OÜ Silvermont, come to our rescue, which allowed us to use materials and resources in a very economical and flexible manner and to have the building completed for a much lower price than the general building prices in Estonia. Haanja municipality government helped us with drawing up documents for the construction register and navigating the various deadlines.

The community centre has been operating for over a year now and hosts regular functions, training meetings and seminars. The local seniors, kindergarten groups and school students come by to have a look around. Fairly often, we also welcome volunteer and professional rescue workers from all over Estonia, wishing to learn from our success story. In terms of prevention, we are stepping up our cooperation with the prevention bureau of the South‑Estonian Rescue Centre. Our vision for the future is that there are less accidents and people’s property is better protected, and to achieve this, we are actively working to improve risk prevention awareness in our community. Since 2009, we have been participating in rescue training, responding to calls and increasing our team. By now, 12 local men have passed the volunteer rescuer training and four of them are trained emergency vehicle drivers. The majority of our emergency responses have to do with removing dangerous fallen trees from roads and putting out smaller landscape fires. Unfortunately, we have also had to participate in rescue work on several incidents where buildings and lives were lost. We continue to be on constant standby for emergency calls in Haanja municipality and in the vicinity. Our advantage over professional rescue units is that we know the local roads, farms and people, and we hope that we can respond quicker and prevent a number of accidents that might otherwise have grave consequences.

Väle Prutt Chief of the Suhka Volunteer Rescue Unit

5. Rescue work

Attaching a garage for rescue trucks to the village community centre was a common practice already at the time of the previous Republic of Estonia.


5. Rescue work


We help with securing self‑financing An integral part of a volunteer rescue unit is the depot with a garage and facilities for organising training and youth work and for keeping a rescue truck on constant standby. Six of the 109 volunteer rescue units do not have a depot or it is in such poor condition that the volunteer rescuers cannot offer their rescue services all year round. In order to secure the necessary self‑financing for submitting a project proposal under the corresponding LEADER measure for building and renovating depots, the volunteer rescue associations of Kõrgessaare, Taali, Iisaku, Aegviidu, Käru,

Rõuge and Pärnu-Jaagupi have received assistance from the budget of the Rescue Board or by decision of the Riigikogu. The Ministry of the Interior and the Rescue Board will continue helping volunteer rescue associations with securing the necessary self‑financing for submitting project proposals under the corresponding LEADER measure in the 2014−2020 European Union budget period.

Marko Põld Adviser of the Rescue and Crisis Management Policy Department

In the autumn, a new village community centre was inaugurated in Mäe‑Suhka in Haanja municipality without any loans, thanks to volunteers and local businesses and funding provided by the Agricultural Registers and Information Board and the Ministry of the Interior. Photo by: Eha Anslan

The hard‑working volunteer rescuers of Pihtla Marko Põld Adviser of the Rescue and Crisis Management Policy Department

On 18 June, the Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur expressed his recognition to the non‑profit association of volunteer rescuers of Pihtla by awarding them the title of Volunteer Rescue Unit of the Year 2013. The Pihtla volunteer rescue unit has been offering rescue services in Saaremaa’s Pihtla municipality from 2009, and is the first to respond to rescue incidents in the area and to ensure the safety of local people. The rescue unit carries on the volunteer fire fighting tradition that began in Pihtla in 1931; it has a total of 13 volunteer rescuers, 12 men and one woman. The unit responded to 24 rescue incidents in 2014. In addition to responding to rescue incidents, the volunteers of Pihtla help avert fire accidents and participate actively in prevention. Upon witnessing the poor fire safety situation in the homes of the community, the volunteers began looking for solutions. They found numerous ways for the families to help themselves, and the local government stepped in where outside help was needed. Pihtla’s volunteer rescuers are also cooperating with the Rescue Board on a project aimed at repairing and maintaining hearths in order to improve safety in the homes of seniors and families with many children. The project sends people to repair, modernise and clean the hearths of mainly families with many children and senior citizens. In addition, in 2013 Pihtla’s volunteer rescuers launched a series of community information days on safety, giving local people advice and information once a month. Safety issues are approached according to the season at hand: the topics for the autumn include, for example, cleaning and maintaining hearths and smart

foraging in the woods, while springtime discussions focus on water safety and the security of hunters, etc. The year 2013 saw the opening ceremony of the depot that had been renovated with support from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB); the 230 m2 space holds a garage, a classroom, a locker room, a sauna and shower and a utility and storage room. The ARIB funded the renovation with 120,000 euros, and Pihtla municipality added 10%, or 12,000 euros, as self‑financing. Before full renovation began, Pihtla municipality had funded the maintenance of the building with 50,000 euros since 2008. Now, that the rescue unit of Kuressaare has provided Pihtla volunteer rescue unit with a forest fire fighting truck, the garage has turned out to be too small, and expanding the depot is already in the works.

Aivar Aasma, chief of the best volunteer rescue unit, accepting a novuss board from the Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur. Photo by: Ministry of the Interior

5. Rescue work


5. Rescue work


Digital map speeds up the arrival of help Jaana Padrik Head of Public Relations of the Emergency Response Centre

The Emergency Response Centre introduced a new tool for emergency services in the summer of 2014: the geographic information system GIS-112. GIS-112 is a digital map that speeds up and narrows down both determining the location of the persons in need of assistance as well as dispatching help and its arrival. The digital map in the computer of the Emergency Response Centre’s rescue leader positions the person placing a call to the emergency number 112, whereas persons calling from a landline are positioned by their address and those

calling from a mobile phone by the area of the call. The rescue leader uses the information given by the caller and the search options of the digital map for narrowing down the location of the person in need of assistance. The digital map displays the help closest to the incident or fastest to arrive as well as the quickest route for reaching the scene of the incident. This information is transferred electronically from the Emergency Response Centre to the digital maps in the computers of ambulances and rescue vehicles. Therefore, the system allows the rescue leader to determine the location of the person in need of assistance on the digital map and to transmit the necessary information electronically to ambulances and rescue vehicles.

The system was created under the Estonian‑ Swiss cooperation programme and cost about 1.5 million euros, of which 85% was provided by Switzerland and 15% by the Estonian state.

People are easier to find in the woods The biggest change that the new tool offers is that by using the digital map system the Emergency Response Centre can determine the location of an accident faster and more exactly, and locate the quickest help. The system also speeds up dispatching help and displays the fastest route to the scene, allowing help to arrive faster. Positioning the person in need of assistance on the digital map is especially handy when the caller is in an unpopulated location and does not know where they are, for example when being lost in a forest or bog or when in a traffic accident, where describing the location is complicated.

The police to join the system soon The new tool is the first development of its kind in Estonia – a complete IT solution for emergency services. It includes the entire chain of actions from the Emergency Response Centre taking an emergency call to the help arriving at the scene. GIS-112 integrates in the same information system both the Emergency Response Centre and the emergency medical and rescue teams driving to the scene. Project development continues, with the police joining the system soon, and integrating marine rescue may also be considered. The new joint geographic information system between the Emergency Response Centre, Rescue Board and emergency medical teams is a necessary development and a preliminary step before adopting the single emergency number 112. As emergency services increase the joint use of innovative IT solutions and tools, the quality of emergency services stabilises and help reaches those in need of assistance faster, regardless of where they are or live. This reduces fire deaths, increases the number of successfully resuscitated patients

and diminishes the financial and environmental damage of fires, accidents and traffic accidents. GIS-112 awarded the prize of logistical achievement of the year The joint adoption of GIS‑112 by the Emergency Response Centre, Rescue Board and emergency medical teams was named the most significant logistical achievement of 2014: the Rescue Board won first place at the competition “Logistical achievement of the year 2014”. The Rescue Board was in charge of adopting the geo­graphic information system, the IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior coordinated technical preparation by harmonising databases and installing software for rescue vehicles. The geographic information system software solutions were prepared by CGI Eesti AS, who also helped organise training. The system was created under the Estonian‑Swiss cooperation programme and cost about 1.5 million euros, of which 85% was provided by Switzerland and 15% by the Estonian state.

5. Rescue work


5. Rescue work


Adopting the single emergency number 112 Eva Rinne Deputy Director General of the Emergency Response Centre

Adopting the single emergency number 112 is an important reorganisation in the domain of internal security and its main aim is to make it easier for people to call for help and to speed up the arrival of help. The existing system of two emergency numbers, 112 and 110, is replaced this year with the single emergency number 112. Calling for help becomes easier, as the same number 112 can be used for calling an ambulance, rescuers and the police. When in a critical situation, people do not have to know several numbers and to be able to choose among them. Adopting a single emergency number allows emergency medical help, rescuers and the police to reach those in need of assistance faster. The single emergency number system also enables to develop emergency services in a universal and high‑quality manner all over Estonia. Adopting a single emergency number is one of the most significant recent developmental leaps in internal security and a major project in terms of advancing emergency services.

The 112 system has been four years in the making Preparations for adopting a single emergency number began in the Ministry of the Interior’s area of government in 2010. It forms part of the government’s programme to provide help faster and improve security among the population. The majority of the 80 main operations scheduled for the four‑year reorganisation have been completed by the beginning of 2015. As the final major step to create a common working environment for adopting a single emergency number, construction was completed on the new Emergency Response Centre and Rescue Board buildings in Tartu and Tallinn. The operational information teams of the

Emergency Response Centre and Police and Border Guard Board began working in the joint offices of the new buildings in December 2014 in Tartu and in January 2015 in Tallinn. With this, the operational information units of the Emergency Response Centre and the Police and Border Guard Board have been provided joint working environments for processing calls to the emergency number 112 in all four regional centres of the Rescue Board: the North‑Estonian, East‑Estonian, South‑Estonian and West‑Estonian centres. A common working environment and information space speed up the exchange of information, improve response time and quality and speed up the arrival of assistance.

Emergency Response Centre established for 112 In order to adopt a single emergency number and to operate and develop the 112 emergency number, a separate rescue agency, the Emergency Response Centre, was established in early 2012, and operating the police emergency number 110 was also added to its tasks. The quality of processing emergency calls determines how fast help arrives, as it is the first critical link in the chain of providing help. As the nature of the service is sensitive and there is a lot of responsibility, the Emergency Response Centre cannot recruit people off the street; in order to guarantee high‑quality decisions, rescue leaders must receive in‑depth training in the Rescue College of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences located in Väike‑Maarja. Due to the transition to a single emergency number, the training curriculum of rescue leaders was updated with a specific police module, which allowed for a systematic processing of police emergency calls as well. A trained rescue leader is able to process rescue, emergency medical and police calls equally well. The reorganisation also required the existing team to update their skills. An in‑service training programme was launched for all existing help centre employees

Calling for help will become easier, as the 112 single number will dispatch ambulances, rescuers and the police.

everywhere in Estonia. The programme is made up of a police module, containing 125 academic hours, and a rescue and emergency medical module, containing 380 academic hours.

The Emergency Response Centre has excellent IT support Adopting a single emergency number required extensive IT development. It included a new operational voice communication system for answering 112 calls, which is independent of administrative communication and therefore significantly reduces threats to the continuity of the service. The work stations of all Emergency Response Centre departments were also updated. The SOS software for processing emergency calls was merged with the new and innovative geographic information system GIS-112, which enables to position the persons in need of assistance on a digital map and displays the help that is closest or fastest to arrive, and the fastest route to the scene. This digital map system, allowing for fast electronic exchange of information, was adopted last year in the emergency call centres and ambulances and rescue vehicles, and further development will

also gradually link the police to the joint information system. We are planning to complete the information systems development in mid‑2015. The essential requirements for adopting a single emergency number have been met, and we scheduled the launch of the public awareness campaign for 11 February 2015, the European 112 Day.

People are satisfied with the emergency call service A complicated task, and an objective in itself, was to maintain the service quality of the 112 and 110 emergency numbers during the restructuring process. During four years, the Emergency Response Centre had to focus on an extensive and constant reorganisation, while also responding to outside changes, such as the emergency medical care reform. Our staff succeeded in maintaining the level of a vital service, which is confirmed by the statistics regarding satisfaction with the service. People are highly satisfied with the Emergency Response Centre’s service: according to a survey conducted in late 2014, 93% of the people who called 112 and 83% of those who called 110 were satisfied with the work of the Emergency Response Centre.

Information exchange has sped up in the new help centre of the joint building of the Rescue Board and Emergency Response Centre in Tallinn. Photo by: Hanno Pevkur

5. Rescue work





Crisis management

Protecting people’s lives, health and property is one of the main tasks of the state. Various crisis situations are always more large‑scale and with graver consequences than individual accidents and may have a significant impact on people’s safety. Therefore, the state must constantly prepare for possible crisis situations in order to improve resilience and to be able to assist people in need as quickly and effectively as possible.

CONEX 2015 tests preparedness for crisis management Tuuli Räim Deputy Head of the Rescue and Crisis Management Policy Department

This year, the main crisis management event is the national contingency exercise CONEX 2015 aimed at ministries and heads of their areas of government, to be conducted as a series of tabletop exercises consisting of various parts. The contingency exercise is an exercise in resolving a national crisis situation that is organised once every four years. The topics of CONEX 2015 are a large‑scale cyber incident, mass poisoning, interruption in vital electricity supply, an attack on vital infrastructure and a mass disturbance. The individual parts of the exercise are prepared by the areas of government of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. The main organiser of the exercise is the Ministry of the Interior, whose task is to manage conducting and assessing the individual parts and to advise on the planning of the parts.

The general aim of CONEX 2015 is to test the strategic management and decision making in resolving various incidents. It is also necessary to test how legislation is applied and if there is a need to adjust legislation according to emergency situations and states of emergency. The crisis management exercise is organised in conjunction with the large‑scale exercise SIIL 2015, assessing military preparedness. This allows for an integrated assessment of Estonia’s preparedness for various crisis situations and of the level of cooperation among state authorities within the concept of broad‑based national defence.

Continuity of vital services One of the main challenges of the coming years is to clarify the domain of crisis management with the aim of improving the state’s resilience in various crisis situations. Implementing existing legislation is not enough, amendments are needed. We are currently preparing amendments to the Emergency Act and are planning to clarify the responsibilities and competences of the various parties, to update the principles of emergency resolution management and to revise the principles of organising crisis management exercises.

6. Crisis management


6. Crisis management



Vital services include electricity supply, communications networks, water supply, postal services, waste management and city transport.

An important topic in preparing the amendments to the Emergency Act is the continuity of vital services, where the main aim is to ensure that vital services function in various crisis situations. The current Act lists 45 vital services, which have a very wide‑ranging impact on the continuity of society as a whole.

Some services are truly essential for people’s lives and health, while others have to do with the routines of people. Examples of vital services are electricity supply, communications networks and water supply, while equal importance has been given to postal services, waste management and city transport.

Rescuers training to carry an injured person during the previous contingency exercise CREMEX 2011. Photo by: Police and Border Guard Board

Ministries, local governments and the Bank of Estonia organise the provision of vital services.

Over 140 companies offer vital services Ministries, local governments and the Bank of Estonia organise the provision of vital services. There is a designated service provider for every vital service who must ensure that the service functions in any situation. There are about 140 service providers and close to 90% of them are private and public undertakings.

When resources are limited, we should focus on the most vital services ensuring the continuity of society. In terms of legislation, it is important to define the term of vital service more clearly and to focus on stepping up the continuity of priority areas only. It is also necessary to establish the requirements for the continuity of vital services, which improves the capability of service providers to continue services in crisis situations.

Four principles of the Emergency Act The Emergency Act provides the legal framework for preparing for and resolving emergency situations and for dividing the crisis management tasks and responsibilities among various bodies. 1. Decentralisation means that each ministry is responsible for the implementation of crisis management in its area of government. 2. The greatest challenge of decentralisation lies in coordination and cooperation, which are necessary for preparing for and resolving any emergency situation. 3. The principle of consistency of tasks means that all institutions and people continue fulfilling their usual tasks in crisis situations. 4. The principle of subsidiarity stresses that crisis management is implemented at the lowest possible level.

6. Crisis management



6. Crisis management


South­‑Estonian crisis management exercise KILP

Margo Klaos Director of the South‑Estonian Rescue Centre

The crisis management exercise KILP 2014 focussed on coordinating evacuation during wartime and civil­ ‑military cooperation. On 15 and 16 May last year, the South‑Estonian Rescue Centre of the Rescue Board conducted, in conjunction with the Spring Storm exercise of the Defence Forces, a regional crisis management tabletop exercise in South Estonia. This was the first time that an exercise of this type was dedicated to training population defence in a state of war. The general aim of the crisis exercise was to assess the operations of the regional rescue headquarters in a state of war and its cooperation and information exchange with military and civil structures. According to the script, internal unrest and the intrusion of foreign troops resulted in several rescue, explosives removal and law enforcement incidents on the territory of the Republic of Estonia, which required that the various bodies cooperated in a coordinated manner, used resources jointly and notified the public together. The regional rescue headquarters also tackled issues surrounding the evacuation of civilians, organising the placement of refugees and the continuity of various vital domains, which gave the exercise a wider civil defence dimension.

General headquarters needed in a state of war One of the main conclusions of the exercise was that in a state of war, it is not rational to organise region-

Arvi Uustalu Head of the Crisis Management Bureau of the South‑Estonian Rescue Centre

al cooperation with military structures through separately located and operating civil agencies, but instead to create supra‑agency general headquarters after establishing its jurisdiction and work organisation. The exercise showed clearly that the evacuation of civilians during wartime is poorly regulated and that serious preparatory efforts are needed at national and regional levels. We need to clarify who makes the actual decision to organise an evacuation in a state of war, who is in charge and who carries out the evacuation. The prevalent opinion seems to be that local governments organise the evacuation when ordered to do so. While this may be the best solution in case of local incidents, it is certainly not feasible in more large‑scale situations. Another conclusion of the exercise was that in order to ensure the continuity of rescue services, we need to further analyse the way responding to rescue calls and adjusting principles is organised during wartime, the way resources are managed at regional level, and the way rescue officials and staff are mobilised. We must also analyse the possible evacuation of rescue equipment from a war zone. While the KILP 2014 exercise focussed primarily on assessing the continuity of rescue services, we should tackle the same issues in regard to securing other state functions, such as hospitals and emergency medical care, mobile phone and data networks and the national food reserve.

The organisers of the exercise especially stressed the need for developing regional civilian and military cooperation, organising various command post exercises and dealing with planning.

Civil and military cooperation matters The exercise highlighted that Estonian legislation has failed to define the term of population defence, or civil defence as used by the European Union, and to establish the functions of various bodies when implementing civil defence. We can assume, based on the exercise, that the Rescue Board (a result of joining the former firefighting and civil defence bodies) with its regional centres is capable of coordinating civil defence during wartime, although we should still discuss many issues, narrow down the judicial area and action plans, and improve capabilities. The exercise succeeded in bringing the topic of civil‑military cooperation to the fore, improving the partic-

ipants’ knowledge of broad‑based national defence and awareness of bottlenecks in need of further attention. The organisers of the exercise especially stressed the need for developing regional civil‑military cooperation, organising various command post exercises and dealing with planning. The participants of the exercise were the Rescue Board, South‑Estonian Bomb Squad, Police and Border Guard Board, South‑Estonian Prefecture, Ministry of the Interior, State Chancellery, Health Board, Estonian Internal Security Service, Estonian Road Administration, Defence League, Defence Forces and the Estonian National Defence College.

Participants of the KILP 2014 exercise acted out a tabletop crisis situation. Photo by: Arvi Uustalu

6. Crisis management




Human resources and organisational development

Staff is reduced while salaries increase

Eneli Vensel Adviser of the Personnel Policy Department

The staff of the area of government of the Ministry of the Interior has reduced significantly in recent years; the resulting savings have allowed us to raise the salaries of less well paid operational staff. The Ministry of the Interior’s area of government employs a total of 8,400 people, 60% of whom work in the Police and Border Guard Board and the rest in the Rescue Board, the Estonian Internal Security Service, the Emergency Response Centre, the IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and the Ministry of the Interior. The staff has reduced every year: 8% compared to 2012. Internal security personnel policy is facing the same challenges as the Estonian labour market in general: aging population, limited budgetary resources and wage competition. Based on the forecast reduction in working‑age population until the year 2020, the staff should be reduced by an average of one per cent each year. This confirms that we will not be having more employees and that we must rearrange the way we work. Effectiveness can be increased only by operating in a thoughtful and smart manner without damaging the population’s sense of security in any way. This is a great challenge. Our agencies are looking for ways to operate better, to be more open in their work and to know the exact cost of every security service. For this, the Rescue Board and the Police and Border Guard Board have adopted service‑based management and tightened their ranks.

215 people made redundant last year In 2014, the Police and Border Guard Board reorganised its work on a large scale. The main aim of the changes was to find resources for improving the competitiveness of salaries without jeopardising the population’s sense of security. A total of 215 people were made redundant, 78 of whom were police officers and 137 other employees. Support services (budgeting, accounting, personnel work, secretary work, tenders, and general administration) were affected by the redundancies the most; the current size of support staff is half of what it was before the Police and Border Guard Board was formed (600 and 1,200 support employees, respectively). The number of managers was reduced by about one third. The changes introduced by the Police and Border Guard Board on its own initiative saved a total of 4.8 million euros. The Board’s efforts together with the additional funds allocated from the 2015 state budget allow us to raise the salaries of the least well paid police officers (salary range 1–5); there are 2,355 of them and their average basic salary increases 12.6% from 991 euros to 1,116 euros. This group also includes 505 patrol officers, whose average basic salary increases 15.7% from 930 euros to 1,076 euros. The reorganisations carried out in the Police and Border Guard Board support service‑based management, which means that each employee knows which service they are providing and the Board gains a clear overview of the cost of each service for the state. The efforts made allow us to provide the same high‑quality service with a smaller number of people. The Police and Border Guard Board currently provides 76 different functional services; 39 of them are aimed directly at the public and 37 support the provision of public services.

7. Human resources and organisational development


7. Human resources and organisational development


In order to process emergency calls appropriately, the number of posts in the Emergency Response Centre was increased from 278 to 296.

Emergency Response Centre staff grew In 2014, the Rescue Board concentrated on clarifying the division of responsibilities in the organisation with the aim of stepping up and reorganising internal processes, improving analysis and planning capabilities, better coordinating the work of volunteer rescuers and motivating the best highly qualified employees. The roles of the heads of Rescue Board centres in implementing their assigned tasks were defined more precisely and the general jurisdiction of the heads of structural units became more harmonised. According to the updated division of responsibilities, the departments develop, plan and assess the service, and rescue centres are in charge of implementing the service. Readiness bureaus and regional administrative divisions were removed from all four rescue centres. The year 2014 was also the deadline for the single emergency number 112 to become fully functional. In

order to process emergency calls appropriately, the number of posts in the Emergency Response Centre was increased from 278 to 296. Last year, the main challenge for the Emergency Response Centre was to find the necessary employees and train them to navigate the 175 different types of medical emergency, police, rescue and environmental incidents. Last year, we prepared for reorganising accountancy and personnel and payroll accounting in the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry’s IT and Development Centre and the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences. As of 1 January this year, the three institutions have transferred the functions of payroll accounting and personnel data entry into the SAP software to the accountancy and personnel accounting department of Viljandi county government, and accountancy to the Financial Department of the Ministry of the Interior. For more information, see p. 76.

Did you know? • Of internal security staff, 65% are men and 35% women. • The percentage of men is the highest in the Rescue Board, where 92% of the staff are male. (Not that women are not welcome as rescuers; the work is just so physically demanding that few women have joined.) • There are more men than women also in the IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior (75%) and the Police and Border Guard Board (57%). • The most common woman’s name in the area of government is Tiina and man’s name Margus. • The average age of the staff is 41 years. One-third of all employees are in their forties. The staff is younger than average in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry’s IT and Development Centre. • The average gross salary in the area of government is 1,122 euros.

The future of internal security are studying at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences Reelika Ein Adviser of the Personnel Policy Department

ploy people with other types of education. However, all graduates of the Academy are offered a job in our field.

Plans of moving to Ida‑Viru County On 24 April 2014, the Government approved its action programme for 2014–2015, which includes the task of considering transferring the Academy of Security Sciences to Ida‑Viru County in order to increase the state’s presence in the area. During a Cabinet meeting held on 18 September, the Government approved the Interior Minister’s proposal to establish a training base in Ida‑Viru County. This means that every year, up to a 100 young people specialising in internal security will be transferred to Ida‑Viru County to maintain public order, guard the border, work in the customs or rescue field or train as a prison guard. In order for the training base to become operational, we need to select and renovate a dormitory in Narva for the use of the Academy’s cadets, but also for police officers, border guards, customs officials and rescuers, if needed. We will be applying for project funding from European Union funds for 2014–2020.

Last year, 427 students graduated from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, and they will be among the new generation of Estonia’s internal security. There are about 1,000 students studying the 12 majors offered by the Academy of Security Sciences. Each year, several hundred young specialists graduate from the Academy, having passed the vocational, higher or master’s level curricula. In 2014, 427 young people graduated and went to work in police, border guard, rescue, judicial, tax and customs structures. During the 2014 admission of new students, the most popular areas of specialisation were police service, customs and taxes and prison service. Competition was the tightest in the police service, with 9.16 persons applying for a student place, followed by customs and taxes (8.40 per place) and prison service (3.8 per place). Of the applicants, 47.7% were male and 52.3% female. There were applicants from all Estonian counties, with Harju (39.4%), Ida-Viru (17.3%) and Tartu (10.1%) counties taking the lead. Each autumn, the Academy conducts a survey among the applicants, and the results indicate that young people wish to study there because they find the curricula interesting. Applicants have also mentioned the wish to work in a state agency and the school’s good reputation. The Academy of Security Sciences does not cover all our personnel needs, as we also em- A class in the computer room of the Police and Border Guard College in Paikuse.

7. Human resources and organisational development


7. Human resources and organisational development


Graduates of the Academy of Security Sciences have a job waiting After graduating from high school in 2012, I went on to study in the Academy of Security Sciences. The previous year, I had participated in the prison service pre‑training organised by the Academy’s College of Justice, which aroused my interest in carving out a career in internal security. While I submitted my initial application to study in the fields of prison and police services, my final choice was to continue in the Police and Border Guard College. Why did I choose to study this? I have often been asked this question both in class and in public, in front of a camera. I have answered that I wish to help people and provide a better living environment. The mission statement of the Police and Border Guard Board reads “In Cooperation We Create Security”, and my views are exactly the same. Another reason for my choice of specialisation was that I want to become a police officer. I am not suited for monotonous work with the same

routine day in and day out. I need to be constantly challenged by my work. As I began my studies, I really had no idea how difficult it actually is to be a police officer. Being now in my third year and having also trained in the field, I have understood how even a simple mishap may end up causing a lot of trouble. As the proverb goes, you reap what you sow. We must always keep this in mind when we are in training to become police officers and also later, on the job. I think that in these three years I have shown that I dare and am able to assume responsibility and to carry out the tasks entrusted to me. What are the positive aspects of studying at the Academy and taking part in student life? Cadets who actively participate in school life gain many valuable experiences and good friends for life. Having friends and acquaintances among cadets at our own college and

There is another important activity at the Academy of Security Sciences that joins people together and makes them act as a team. This uniting force is SPORTS.

other colleges makes communication and helping one another easier in our future work life. As most of the graduates of the Academy of Security Sciences are operating in the field of internal security, we are all working towards a common goal. The more supportive we are of one another, the better the quality of our work. The fact that while studying most of us already know where we will be working gives us a sense of security in terms of the future. This is certain to make us more motivated in acquiring the knowledge and skills offered at school. Another positive sign is that the opinions of cadets are more and more welcome and also taken into account. We give feedback on every subject and if an area or topic needs improvement, we make our suggestions. Once a

year, the Academy organises an internal conference, with the employees and cadets also participating. We gather together to discuss important matters, such as the Academy’s core values or the school’s position in the educational landscape. Every year, the cadets are also included in preparing and carrying out the conference, and the school family has been very satisfied with the results. There is another important activity at the Academy of Security Sciences that joins people together and makes them act as a team. This uniting force is SPORTS. During the academic year, the Academy holds 19 sports competitions, giving every cadet an opportunity to participate. We can also take part in competitions organised by the Estonian Academic Sports Federation or by the agencies. And there are other possibilities to step into the race, so that each cadet infected by the sports bug is certain to find a suitably challenging field. What I especially like about the Academy is the certainty that you really will become what you have studied for. You want to become a police officer, you come to study at the Academy, and sure enough, you will become a police officer. Most of our teaching staff are also police officers, and they do not treat cadets as their subordinates. Rather, they view us as future colleagues with whom they are sharing their knowledge and experiences. After I graduate, I will probably become a patrol officer, as this is usually the very first post after graduation. While it is one of the toughest jobs, it is also very interesting. And certainly a good springboard for professional development and progress! Just like most cadets, I try to do my best to make Estonia a good and safe place for us all.

Hannes Lember Cadet at the Academy of Security Sciences

7. Human resources and organisational development






We invested 17 million euros in internal security real estate

Raino Sepp Head of the Asset Management Department

As the agreement for bringing the headquarters of the European IT Agency to Estonia was signed last year, we began looking for a suitable location for the agency building. We are also continuing development on completing the facilities of the Academy of Security Sciences and on the thematic plans of the Academy’s training centre in Narva.

Vehicle selection to be updated In 2014, we invested, together with Riigi Kinnisvara Aktsiaselts (State Real Estate Ltd.), 17.1 million euros in real estate. In 2014, we completed construction on the joint buildings of the Rescue Board and the Emergency Response Centre in Lasnamäe district in Tallinn and in Annelinn district in Tartu, which was a requirement for adopting the single emergency number 112. We also completed the police station building in Keila. We have finished procedures on the detailed plans of joint buildings in Sillamäe and Kiviõli. The procedures on the detailed plan of the joint building in Kohtla‑Järve continue in 2015. This year, we will be completing several construction projects begun in 2014: the reconstruction of Narva border crossing point and joint buildings in Häädemeeste, Vormsi and Võru. In addition, we will continue with the larger‑scale projects of constructing a storage facility for findings, physical evidence and other stored property in Narva and renovation of the detention house in Paide. Last year, the project of Piusa border guard station was completed and design work began on several buildings to be completed in the coming years. In Pärnu, we are expecting to complete the joint offices of the police, rescue, Security Police, the Ministry of the Interior’s IT and Development Centre and Alarm Response Centre in 2017. We also launched design work on the border guard stations of Vastseliina and Vändra, and continued work on the project of the new detention house and expulsion centre of Tallinn Prison.

The average age of land vehicles used in the Ministry of the Interior’s area of government is 7.4 years, and a little over 23% of land vehicles are older than 10 years. The mileage of 2.4% of the vehicles is over 300,000 km. Compared to 2013, the average age of vehicles has decreased by 4% and average annual mileage by 4.1%. Last year’s largest transport tender consisted in acquiring six aerial ladders with a total cost of 3.3 million euros; we should receive the trucks in late summer 2015. Rescuers currently have five aerial ladders and three of them are older than 35 years. Aerial ladders are used for resolving rescue incidents involving buildings over three stories high. Using co‑financing from the European Cohesion Fund, we are planning to acquire one spill response vessel, one observation aircraft and 77 rescue trucks with rescue equipment in 2015. The estimated total cost of the project is close to 56.5 million euros. In addition, we are planning to use co‑financing from the European Union Internal Security Fund 2015–2020 for updating border guard and crime fighting vehicles of the Police and Border Guard Board. We are planning to acquire at least 200 land vehicles (cars, minibuses, motor sledges and all‑terrain vehicles) and 12 watercraft (motorboats, launches and airboats). Another aim of the project is to update the observation and communications equipment on the helicopters of the Police and Border Guard flight squadron and to introduce unmanned aircraft. The estimated total cost of the project is over 15.6 million euros.

8. Resources


Internal security budget to increase

Mairi Tonsiver Head of the Financial Department

The 2014 total budget of internal security institutions was slightly over 314 million euros; the budget for 2015 is 7% larger – 337.7 million. Compared to 2006, and excluding inflation, the internal security budget has decreased 2.3%, but we can expect a slight increase in 2015. At the same time, the state budget, corrected by the Consumer Price Index, has increased 39%. Of the 2014 budget, 288 million euros were covered from state revenues. The rest originated from foreign aid (including national co‑financing), economic activities and other smaller proceeds. In 2014, the budget of internal security institutions made up 3.90% of the state budget (8.056 billion euros) and 1.65% of GDP. While the GDP percentage has

the state budget percentage has decreased by 1.59 percentage points. The breakdown of the budget of the Ministry of the Interior’s area of government by institutions is as follows: budget of the Police and Border Guard: 57%; budget of the Rescue Board: 20%; all other institutions, including the Ministry of the Interior: 23% (excluding the budget of the Estonian Internal Security Service, which is not made public).




32.913 11%

Ministry of the Interior Police and Border Guard Board Rescue Board

57.381 19%

Emergency Response Centre 168.717 57%

Academy of Security Sciences IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior

Figure 2. Internal security budget 2014 (by institutions, thousand euros)

remained at a comparable level in the past 10 years, 400 350 300 Million euros

8. Resources



277.5 282.4 235.8

296.9 265.4




247.5 247.9

200 150 100 50 0

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Figure 1. Total internal security budget

In order to maintain the current internal security level with limited financial resources, we must find new ways to save without damaging the quantity and quality of services. We have prepared a plan in the area of government of the Ministry of the Interior for optimising real estate and adjusting the financing scheme of land vehicles by putting more emphasis on long‑term financial leasing. Giving up unnecessary real estate and keeping vehicles for longer periods can save us over a million euros a year. We could use these funds for covering other important costs in the field.

Giving up unnecessary real estate and keeping vehicles for longer periods can save us over a million euros a year.

The condition of internal security assets has declined slightly each year, as we have lacked sufficient funds for replacing the assets in time. In order to break this negative trend, in 2014 we prepared, together with our agencies, asset updating plans until 2025. Together with State Real Estate Ltd., we drew up a real estate optimisation plan with the ambitious aim of updating all internal security buildings in the next 10 years in order to provide the employees and clients a modern working environment that meets health protection requirements. Investments would also contribute to significant energy savings, which would lower the maintenance costs of assets considerably.

Over 3 million euros saved As a result of optimisation efforts, we have reduced the space used by almost 20% in recent years, which has saved the state at least 3 million euros a year. If we continue optimising rental space as planned, some further savings are possible. We also prepared plans for updating transport and ICT assets, which are essential for offering modern internal security services. The plan for the long‑term updating of armaments allows us to abandon the arms used before Estonia restored its independence, which no longer meet the technical needs of the police. By doing this, we are harmonising the principles of armaments at national level and in the context of NATO. We will gather the information regarding all asset updating plans in the development plan for our area of government for 2016–2019 and will submit it for approval to the Government of the Republic in the framework of preparing the state budget strategy.

We are stepping up financial accounting Last year, the government approved the plan for centralising support services, referred to as TUTSE, which includes all public authorities adopting the new version of the SAP business software. The reorganisation, implemented by the Ministry of Finance and the State Shared Service Centre, harmonises the accounting principles of public authorities and the Ministry of the Interior. The project transfers the entire financial, staff and wage accounting of the authorities into the updated SAP software environment. The authorities gain access to a central electronic invoice processing and web‑based reporting system. The updated SAP software was adopted in the Ministry of the Interior’s area of government in early 2015, and the project involves about a 100 employees. This extensive support services reorganisation includes introducing a new information system, changing accounting principles, employee training and connecting the updated business software with the rest of information systems. Until the end of 2014, the accountancy of ministry agencies was mainly decentralised. As of the beginning of this year, we have centralised the financial, wage and staff accounting of the IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior and the Academy of Security Sciences, in addition to that of the Ministry of the Interior and the Emergency Response Centre. Reorganising accountancy and staff and wage accounting and applying universal principles of data entry improved the quality of data in the reporting across the area of government. There is also less need for manual processing in reporting. The agencies are free to concentrate more on the contents of their work and do not have to spend their funds on technically updating and developing the SAP software or on training the officials.

8. Resources


8. Resources


Over a 100 million euros of European Union financing Ketlin Jaani-Vihalem Head of the Foreign Financing Department

The direct support allocated to Estonia during the new European Union financing period, which began last year, reaches 5 billion euros, with a little over a 100 million euros provided for the Ministry of the Interior’s area of government. Compared to the previous financing period from 2007 to 2013, European Union direct support to internal security has increased over 30%. This is a significant increase that will be of great help in funding the entire area, but it also increases our responsibility in terms of using the funds rationally. The Ministry of the Interior began preparing for the new European Union financing period from 2014 to 2020 already in 2011. The Ministry of the Interior used to be responsible for implementing the External Borders Fund, the European Refugee Fund and the European Return Fund within the general programme of Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows, whereas in the new period the funds were restructured, and the Ministry of the Interior now manages two new funds: the Internal Security Fund and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

35 million euros from the Internal Security Fund Estonia stands to receive a little over 35 million euros from the Internal Security Fund, used for funding external border and visa administration and police cooperation and crisis management. For example, we hope to receive funding for finishing the development of the European Border Surveillance System, stepping up visa

policy, improving external border guarding capabilities and strengthening integrated border management. We also need assistance with funding measures that increase the capabilities of law enforcement authorities in fighting crime and improve their inter‑agency cooperation, help defend vital infrastructure and elaborate large‑scale threat and risk assessments. All planned measures are in conformity with various sectoral strategies, including the main security policy trends.

10 million euros for migration Estonia can apply for a little over 10 million euros from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. We wish to use the fund for financing measures that contribute to strengthening and developing the Common European Asylum System, supporting legal migration, integrating third‑country nationals and combatting illegal immigration. Budgetary resources are distributed from both funds under a multiannual programme, which is prepared together with all relevant parties from the Ministry of the Interior and its area of government, other ministries and non‑governmental organisations. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for implementing measures financed from cohesion policy funds during the new financing period. For example, we contribute, through various actions, to improving the adaptation, integration and participation of less integrated permanent residents and newly arrived immigrants. We also suggest measures for reducing risks of marginalisation and improving employability among young people as well as for improving environmental emergency response capabilities. The Ministry of the Interior and its area of government receive a total of about 59 million euros for achieving the objectives mentioned above.

For example, we contribute to improving the adaptation, integration and participation of less integrated permanent residents and newly arrived immigrants.

Projects launched or completed in 2014 Examples of projects co‑financed from the External Borders Fund

Examples of projects co‑financed from the European Refugee Fund

• Renovation of the integrated surveillance system at Lake Peipsi, securing 24‑hour technical surveillance on the Estonian–Russian border along Lake Peipsi

• As a result of the project “Post-Arrival Cultural Orientation for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Estonia EST-CO”, the beneficiaries of international protection who have participated in the trainings are capable of independently navigating Estonian society and the employees of the accommodation centre and local governments are more aware of cultural differences

• Renovation of the Kulgu surveillance system, securing 24‑hour technical surveillance on the Estonian–Russian border along the Narva Reservoir • Second phase of the marine surveillance information system, which included updating the transmission network and installing surveillance cameras on important surveillance posts, thus improving border security

Examples of projects co‑financed from the European Return Fund • Purchasing a convoy bus for the Police and Border Guard Board detention centre • Support for third‑country nationals returning to their countries of origin • Support for the expulsion of third‑country nationals

• The project “A Well‑Functioning Asylum Procedure” produced an innovative interactive training module that virtually simulates asylum procedure situations and helps to consolidate work processes • A survey on the Estonian population’s awareness of and attitudes towards issues surrounding refugees

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8. Resources


With co‑financing from the External Borders Fund, the Police and Border Guard Board purchased a new hovercraft in 2013. Photo by: Raigo Pajula

Security Policy 2015  

Summary of the implementation of the “Main guidelines of Estonia’s security policy until 2015” in 2014.

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