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Catching up with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

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Chapter Summary

In Estonia, the language legislation is more complex and ambiguous. Article 51 of the Estonian Constitution provides a right to receive responses from state agencies, local governments and their officials in the minority language in places where at least one-half of the permanent residents belong to a national minority whereas Article 52 states that in the latter situation the minority language can even be used as an internal working language in local governments. In the framework of the European Union (EU) pre-accession process, the Baltic States have introduced new legislation in accordance with the EC nondiscrimination directives. This chapter clearly illustrates the core problem of Baltic-Russian relations, i.e. the divergent visions on the consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact for the legal status of the contemporary Baltic republics. Russian government representatives immediately suspended the ratification process and demanded new negotiations,.

Keywords: Baltic-Russian relations; EC nondiscrimination directives; Estonia; minority language



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