Ministers Say Good Balance Achieved in NATO’s Strategic Concept
20 November (BNS) - Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that a good balance has been achieved in the new strategic concept of NATO between traditional and new threats.
In remarks relayed by the government's communications office, Ansip said that in order to achieve success NATO needs to deal with a wider circle of threats than before, bring in partners, and in doing so continue to offer credible deterrence.
"The most powerful defence organisation in history has been successful because we do not only respond to existing and emerging threats but are actively shaping the security environment that surrounds us," the prime minister said, adding that a good balance had been achieved in the concept between traditional and new threats.
Ansip stressed that the military capability of NATO depends directly on the level of defence spending by its members. He said that Estonia takes very seriously the goal to allocate two percent of its gross national product to national defence within the next few years.
In the words of Estonia's Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo, the strong emphasis that the new concept places on Article 5, the article of the North Atlantic Treaty committing alliance members to collective defence, strengthens Estonia's feeling of security.
"In addition, the document references the need to conduct constant military planning and exercises and joint activities to train for actions on the basis of these plans," said the minister of defence.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said, referring to the text of the new strategic concept, that the organisation has adapted to change, however remaining the same by its basic nature and goal. "The principle -- one for all, all for one -- is unwavering. With equal strength there stands in the text the message to all democratic countries of Europe: NATO doors are open to those who wish to join it and no third country has the right to subvert this," Paet said.
The strategic concept is the second most important document for NATO after the treaty signed in Washington in 1949, defining the challenges that the alliance is faced with and its goals in the changed security environment for the next five to fifteen years.
The currently valid strategic concept, the sixth such document for NATO, was endorsed at the alliance's summit in Washington in 1999.
Allies That Share NATO’s Responsibilities Deserve Special Treatment
20 November - Late last night, during the foreign ministers’ meeting that took place within the framework of the NATO summit in Lisbon, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that in developing relations with its partners NATO must keep in mind which states contribute to NATO-led military missions and thereby are already sharing its security responsibilities.
Paet added that in the light of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, the compilation of a new NATO partnership plan for non-NATO members is also necessary. “We must single out the nations among our partners that are on the path to becoming NATO members or possess separate framework agreements,” he added.
The Estonian foreign minister assigned special importance to co-operation between NATO and the EU. “We must overcome obstacles that hinder NATO-EU co-operation. There are 21 nations that belong to both organisations and share the same values. Therefore co-operation is logical and the only possible option,” Paet added.
Paet: NATO Needs Allies and Open-Door Policy
19 November - At the Young Atlanticist Summit taking place on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lisbon, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet spoke to the future leaders of the Euro-Atlantic region about the future of NATO and Europe and emphasised the need to preserve NATO’s open-door policy and promote partnership relations, particularly when it comes to handling new security threats.
“We are firm supporters of NATO’s open-door policy and feel it is important that this principle gets clear approval in NATO’s new Strategic Concept,” said Foreign Minister Paet.
The foreign minister added that Estonia continues to support Georgia and Ukraine’s integration with NATO. “We are also happy that Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been given Membership Actions Plans. We also support Macedonia’s accession to the alliance,” he asserted. Foreign Minister Paet also noted that, like every country, NATO also needs strategic partners, especially when it comes to new security challenges. “In facing 21st century security challenges that do not recognise state borders, the importance of having like-minded partners across all continents has become an invaluable asset,” said Paet.
When speaking about emerging security challenges, Paet said that Estonia has proven its reliability and competence in cyber security. “Two years ago the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence was founded in Tallinn. In addition to NATO member states, the centre is also open to co-operative relations with non-NATO nations, universities, research institutions, and businesses as Contributing Participants,” Paet stated.
Foreign Minister Paet also highlighted co-operation with international organisations, particularly the EU and UN, as an important issue for NATO. “Co-operation with international organisations is especially needed in Afghanistan so that our joint efforts can be successful,” emphasised Paet. “Addressing the global security challenges of the 21st century like cyber threats, climate change and energy security will become the responsibility of today’s youth,” Paet stated.
The goal of the Young Atlanticist Summit taking place in Lisbon is to give future leaders of the Euro-Atlantic region a chance to meet world leaders and leading security experts and discuss the global security situation and its future.
EU Foreign Ministers Prepare for EU-Russia Summit
22 November - Today in Brussels the European Union foreign ministers discussed preparations for the summit with Russia. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that at the EU-Russia summit taking place on 7 December there are plans to discuss development in the four largest sectors: the global economic environment; climate change; European Union-Russia relations, including Russia joining the WTO, negotiations for a new EU-Russia agreement, the energy sector, visa-free travel, and frozen conflicts; and international topics like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East.
Paet said that the EU-Russia visa dialogue should continue but that all the conditions must be fulfilled before implementing visa freedom. “It is also important for the EU to encourage Russia to do more to resolve the Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts,” said Paet. “Estonia also feels it is important for Russia to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO),” added the foreign minister.
In talking about developments in Belarus, Paet clarified that progress in Belarus and EU-relations depends on a marked development in rule of law and democratic reforms. “The EU must be ready to move forward with concluding visa facilitation and a readmission agreement, but we also need to see further concrete steps from Belarus,” Paet asserted.
In conjunction with recent events in Burma, Estonia feels it is regrettable that the elections in Burma were neither free nor democratic. “In order to achieve stability and development in Burma, international reconciliation and the initiation of the democratic process are essential. Releasing all political prisoners would provide an opportunity to begin a true transition to democracy,” said the foreign minister.
The council also discussed the situation in Sudan in relation to the independence referendum to be held in Southern Sudan on 9 January 2011. The Estonian foreign minister stated that the consistent implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is urgently needed to ensure peace in Sudan. Currently the reigning political situation in Sudan is very delicate and, according to UN data, the humanitarian situation in the country has not improved recently either.
During the General Affairs Council, the member states confirmed that a crisis management mechanism for the euro zone is necessary. Also under discussion was the EU’s initiative to improve its ability to respond to disasters, ensuring good co-ordination among the EU and its member states so that the correct aid would reach the correct people as quickly as possible.
The Commission introduced its working scheme for the year 2011, which focuses on economic growth. “For example, the plan includes the completion of financial services reform and the strengthening of the EU internal market. In relation to the internal market, Estonia believes the essential factors are the digital agenda, including the advancement of digital signatures across the entire EU and the creation of a common European contract law support framework,” Paet noted.
Paet Meets With First Nicaraguan Foreign Minister to Visit Estonia
25 November - At his meeting today with the first ever Nicaraguan foreign minister to visit Estonia, Samuel Santos Lopez, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised the necessity of observing Georgia's territorial integrity. “It is essential to continue the non-recognition policy on the international level. Nicaragua's decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to establish diplomatic ties with them does not help to resolve the situation that has developed,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “In the interest of alleviating the post-conflict situation, we must ensure the effectiveness of the work of international monitors in Georgia. Estonia feels it is necessary for the UN mission to return to all of Georgia's territory,” he added.
During the meeting, the foreign ministers also discussed Estonia's experiences in the information technology sector. “We are prepared to welcome Nicaraguan experts that are interested in Estonia's information technology solutions,” said the Estonian foreign minister.
When discussing opportunities to intensify bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Paet proposed to his colleague that Nicaragua could be represented at the international tourism fair TOUREST in Tallinn next February, in order to introduce the country to people in Estonia. Paet also feels it is important to appoint an honorary consul in Nicaragua.
In addition, the foreign ministers touched on European Union-Nicaragua relations. The European Union is Nicaragua's third-biggest global trade partner. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed hope that an Association Agreement between the European Union and Nicaragua would be signed soon that would include a free trade agreement and enliven economic relations.
Other topics of discussion were Nicaragua's relations with its neighbours and developments in the region as a whole.
Estonia Believes Europe’s Security Crises Must Be Resolved in OSCE
22 November - During his meeting in Brussels yesterday with his colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed European security matters and the upcoming Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit. Paet stated that Europe’s security architecture must be based on shared values and reciprocal agreements that the signers adhere to, because this is the only way it will be possible to achieve unified and indivisible security.
“The proper place for discussions on Europe’s security architecture is the OSCE, and it is important that the final document from the summit held at the beginning of December will emphasise the need to resolve current conflicts,” Paet noted. “Existing crises must be solved within the framework of the OSCE. We must work on the basis of the OSCE’s principles and in accordance with agreements to fulfil the territorial integrity of Georgia and achieve results in Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria and Kyrgyzstan,” he stressed.
The Baltic and Benelux foreign ministers also talked about the upcoming European Union-Russia summit at the meeting, addressing EU-Russia visa dialogue issues. Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that in addition to determining concrete visa regime guidelines and an action framework, these plans must actually be implemented as well. “This applies to Russia as well as to other third nations strive for visa facilitation with the EU,” he stated. “In Russia’s case, we must find a solution to the border queues, since the EU-Russia border should not be an obstacle to the free movement of people and goods,” said Paet.
At the meeting the foreign ministers talked about further EU enlargement, expressing support for the continuation of accession negotiations with Turkey and Iceland and for the conclusion of negotiations with Croatia. Relations between the Baltic and Benelux nations were also discussed. Foreign Minister Paet said that the regular meetings of the foreign ministers of the three Baltic nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are important for co-operation among the states. “Active communication helps to intensify co-operation and increase our understanding of one another, and a mutual sharing of positions helps to ensure the unity of the European Union,” said Paet.
The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg meet once a year to exchange positions on regional and international co-operation topics.
President Appeals to Austria to Join Cyber Defence, Eastern Partnership Centres
23 November (BNS) - Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, during his meeting with Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer during his official visit to Vienna, appealed to Austria to join the NATO Cyber Defence Centre and take part in the work of the Eastern Partnership Centre. Ilves said that Estonia and Austria were firm partners proceeding from the same principles who operated in the same line with the Eastern Partnership initiative, integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union, and solving energy security problems. "Starting from 1 January we can also carry on our co-operation within the euro zone," he added.
The heads of state also discussed enlargement of the EU into the Western Balkans. Ilves said that unsteady states outside the EU deepen instability not just in the south-eastern part of Europe but in all of Europe. He expressed concern over increasing enlargement fatigue in the EU. Ilves said that the enlargement policy should continue on the same basis as the European Commission recommends it.
The two presidents confirmed support to strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership initiative. Ilves invited Austria to take part in the work of the Eastern Partnership Centre in Tallinn.
Speaking about the Baltic Sea Strategy initiated by Estonia and the Danube strategy drawn up under the guidance of Austria, the two presidents underlined that both of them made it possible to promote internal co-operation within the EU as well as the competitiveness of the community.
European energy security was also under discussion at the meeting. Ilves said that it was necessary to agree on common rules for the regulation of electricity import from third countries. He said that the success of the south corridor projects, whether they were Nabucco, the Turkey-Greece-Italy and Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania links, or the White Stream gas pipeline, were of key importance for the energy security of the EU.
Ilves invited Austria to co-operate with the NATO Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre operating in Tallinn. "I am certain that Austria could here take part in projects it is interested in. Dangers in cyberspace, threats of both a criminal and military nature, are of common concern, problems and challenges of NATO member countries and democratic countries that are not part of the alliance," he said.
Ilves also met with Mayor of Vienna Michael Haupl and President of the Austrian National Council, the parliament, Barbara Prammer.
Meeting of Estonia-Ukraine Joint Commission on Economic, Industrial, Technical and Scientific Co-operation Takes Place
18 November - The first meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers on Economic, Industrial, Technical and Scientific Co-operation took place in Tallinn. The first meeting of the joint commission was led by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs Marina Kaljurand and Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Industrial Policy Sergei Bilenki. Representatives of the Estonian and Ukrainian ministries and several experts also participated in the meeting.
The first meeting of the Estonia-Ukraine joint intergovernmental commission was a continuation of the visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on 5 October. The session of the intergovernmental commission indicates a new stage in the development of bilateral relations and a deepening of direct contacts between the corresponding institutions in the two nations.
Co-operation between Ukraine and the EU was discussed at the meeting. Other topics addressed were Estonia-Ukraine bilateral relations in trade relations and reciprocal investment opportunities. In addition, the parties discussed co-operation in information technology, as well as opportunities to intensify co-operation in biotechnology, agriculture, education and research, space technology, and environmental and energy matters. Other topics of discussion were development co-operation, Eastern Partnership, and questions and problems raised by Ukrainian businesses working in Estonia.
The Agreement on Economic, Industrial, Technical and Scientific Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers came into effect on 24 September 2008.
Estonia to Send Lynx to Poland for Lynx Restoration Project
19 November (BNS) - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is about to launch a project to save the lynx population of the Napiwodzko-Ramuckich region of north-eastern Poland, in which lynx from Estonia are to play a crucial role, the daily Eesti Päevaleht said.
The Polish branch of the WWF is planning to bring in animals from Estonia to help make the local lynx population viable again. Estonian lynx are of interest for the Poles because of their genetic similarity with local lynx and the large size of the Estonian lynx population. Poland wants female lynx from Estonia.
Peep Männil, a researcher from Estonia, said that specialists from Poland came to Estonia to inquire about the possibility this spring and received approval for their plan from Estonian experts. "The exact timelines of the project, the number of Estonian lynx to be taken to Poland, and the locations where they are to be caught have yet to be decided," he said.
According to the latest survey data, Estonia has a lynx population of approximately 900 and 180 lynx were hunted in the country last year. In Poland, a country seven times the size of Estonia, only a couple of hundred animals are estimated to be living at this point.
WWF Places Estonia Among Middle-Ranking EU Member States in Fight Against Climate Change
23 November (BNS) - In a report on the fight against climate change released on Tuesday the World Wildlife Fund has placed Estonia in the middle in the European Union, the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat reported. According to the WWF, European countries should on the average treble their efforts in order to prevent detrimental climate change. WWF has divided countries into seven categories. Of these, the category A means considerable efforts in the contraction of emissions quota, which according to plans will lead to 85-90 % contraction of greenhouse gases emissions. Category G indicates the weakest result.
The countries fighting the most strongly against climate change in the European Union are in category D, which includes Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Sweden. Estonia is in the category E, which also includes Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Great Britain.
WWF welcomed the circumstance that despite the generally poor situation there are bright moments in almost every European country's climate policy. The organisation particularly underlined Great Britain, where an ambitious act of fighting against climate change has been worked out, and Estonia, where an integral land use strategy has been drawn up.
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Romania are in the category F.
The WWF report was drawn up by the international energy and environmental consultancy Ecofys.
Public Broadcaster Makes Archives Accessible via Internet
19 November (BNS) - Audiovisual heritage held in the archives of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company, ERR, can be accessed over the internet starting Friday, 19 November.
The materials can be accessed via the web page arhiiv.err.ee, spokespeople for ERR said. Web-based access to the audio and video archives has been created on the initiative of ERR in order to make digital audiovisual cultural heritage accessible to everyone free of charge. Right now the material that can be accessed consists of television and radio broadcasts.
ERR is ready to start negotiations with all major content producers, television and radio stations and film archives who are interested in preserving and publishing their audiovisual material in the digital archives of ERR. Cooperation toward this end is already under way with the Estonian Film Information System (EFIS) being created by the non-profit organisation Eesti Filmi Andmebaas (Estonian Film Database).
The ERR archives can be accessed over the internet both anonymously and after identification. Anonymous users can access content that ERR is free to release to all parties.
High-Level Cyber Symposium Opened in Tallinn
22 November - Upon opening the symposium, Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said that in addition to members of the Defence Forces and political decision makers, cyber defence needs, above all, new technologies to combat threats. “Without cyber defence instruments created by scientists and engineers, all talk of cyber defence would be empty words. I hope that the symposium helps to establish better conditions for managing cyber threats,” said Aaviksoo.
Nearly 100 experts from almost every member state of the Alliance are participating in the cyber defence symposium of NATO Research & Technology Organisation. The two-day event is organised by the Estonian Ministry of Defence and Defence Forces.
Estonian Mission Contingent Arrives Home from Afghanistan
20 November (BNS) - The ESTCOY-10 infantry company and the national support element NSE-9, or the Estonian units that have served in Afghanistan for the past six months, arrived in Tallinn Saturday morning. At the reception ceremony, Secretary General of the Defence Ministry Riho Terras told the members of the Defence Forces returning from the mission that they had shown themselves as the best NATO soldiers, fought bravely, and held the Estonian flag high. He said that the new Strategic Concept of NATO adopted at the Lisbon summit Friday evening was good and necessary for Estonia, containing almost all of Estonia's proposals. This, he said, was largely thanks to the good reputation and wide recognition of the members of the Estonian Defence Forces.
The Defence Forces' chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Neeme Väli, said that the restoration of day-to-day activity in the Estonian company's area of responsibility bears witness to the effectiveness of the company's activity. Because of the Estonian soldiers, the environs of the Wahid patrol base are now a little safer than they used to be, the chief of staff said.
Väli said that Estonia's visibility and its credibility as a provider of security were largely owed to the members of the Defence Forces serving in Afghanistan. "The effect from the activity of the Estonian company reaches further than the environs of Nad-e-Ali and Helmand Province-- Estonia's voice is heard among the allies," he said.
ESTCOY-10, under the command of Maj. Meelis Jõemaa, served in the conflict area for almost 200 days, taking part in four battle group operations and six independent company operations. Its members found and rendered harmless 14 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and found two larger caches containing components of IEDs, weapons and a narcotic substance. There was battle contact with the enemy on 75 days.
At the end of the summer members of ESTCOY-10 and NSE-9 repaired roads to ensure freedom of movement for locals and prevent insurgents from planting IEDs. The company's medics provided medical assistance to nearly 260 local residents. Villagers opened a market near the patrol base manned by Estonians that became a regular trading venue for Afghans.
ESTCOY-10 manned the Wahid patrol base and its surrounding checkpoints in the central part of Helmand Province.
Estonian Soldiers in Afghanistan to Receive 13 APCs
24 November (BNS) - Next week 13 SISU XA-188 armoured personnel carriers bought from the Netherlands will be delivered to Estonian soldiers in Afghanistan.
Capt Raul Järviste, head of the logistics division of the technical department of the Defence Forces Headquarters, said that the APCs would be handed over next Friday in Kandahar and from there the vehicles would be transported to the Camp Bastion military base. Two of the APCs bought from the Netherlands have been delivered to Estonia until the present and the remaining APCs will arrive in accordance with the contract.
Estonia paid 320 million kroons (EUR 20.4 mln) for 81 SISU XA-188 APCs, and the personnel carriers will arrive in Estonia in the period from 2011-2015. At present the Defence Forces use Pasi armoured personnel carriers the official designation of which is Sisu XA-180EST. Sisu XA-188 is a more modern version of the same APCs; compared with the APCs now in use in the Defence Forces the new machines have a thicker armour providing better protection, as well as a more powerful engine and better interior.
Percentage of Euro Supporters Up in Estonia
23 November (BNS) - Of Estonian residents 54% support transition to the euro, five percentage points more than in October, it appears from the euro monitoring poll ordered by the Estonian Finance Ministry and the State Chancellery.
In November 36% of the respondents did not support the transition to the common currency and 10% were not able to state their point of view. In October 40% of the residents were not in favour of the introduction of the euro. Compared with the previous poll support has increased more than the average among women and the oldest group of residents, the Finance Ministry said.
The residents' information about the euro has also increased - this could be seen from both the respondents' self-assessment as well as knowledge of the facts of the practical transition to the euro. In the November survey 89% of those interviewed believed that they were well or sufficiently informed about the changeover to the euro, while 13% found that additional information was necessary. In October the corresponding figures were 84 and 21%.
According to Kalev Petti, the person in charge of the poll, the circumstance that the people had received more concrete and practical news instead of general information had contributed to the increased support for the European currency.
Auction Sets Free Market Electricity Price for Thursday at 63.66 EUR
24 November (BNS) - The price of electricity on Thursday in the Estonian price area of the Nordic electricity exchange Nord Pool Spot was established at 63.66 euros per megawatt-hour, the highest price level for November, at the day-ahead auction on Wednesday.
The average free market electricity price for Estonia had moved in the range from 39.67 to 53.76 euros per MWh so far in November. On Wednesday the price in the Estonian price area was 41.79 euros.
In the Finnish market Thursday's price emerged at 68.93 euros and in the whole NPS system at 61.61 euros per MWh.
In the Estonian price area 9 581 MWh of electricity was bought and 17 284 MWh sold for Thursday.
Estonian Air’s October Passenger Numbers Up 11 Percent on Year
24 November (BNS) - The number of passengers carried by Estonian Air in October increased by 11% compared with October 2009, the carrier said on Wednesday. On regular flights the number of passengers grew by 13.4% whereas on charter flights it dropped 4.7%. Estonian Air carried 53 100 passengers during the month, of them 47 109 on regular flights.
In the first ten months of the year planes of Estonian Air carried 493 770 passengers, of them 444 863 on regular flights. Passengers carried from Tallinn numbered 464 244. The number of passengers carried in ten months increased 1.1% year on year, the rate of increase for regular flights being 0.5%.
"Estonian Air's passenger numbers have been growing for six months in a row, which gives us a very clear signal about the revival of the air travel market in our region. Since October, we can talk about growth throughout the year, with the strongest growth in September and October," said Rauno Parras, vice president of Estonian Air.
In the ten-month period the market share of Estonian Air in regular flights at Tallinn Airport was 41.9%, 4.3 percentage points lower than during the same period a year ago. The company's total market share, including both regular and charter flights, was 39.5%, marking a decline of 2.4 percentage points.
Tallinna Kaubamaja Boost Q3 Earnings Almost Fivefold
25 November (BNS) - The listed Estonian retail group AS Tallinna Kaubamaja has posted a consolidated unaudited net profit of 73.2 million kroons (EUR 4.7 mln) for the third quarter of 2010, compared with a profit of 15.4 million kroons (EUR 1 mln) earned during the same three months in 2009.
Sales revenue in the third quarter amounted to 1.6 billion kroons, marking an increase of 0.4 percent year-on-year. The group's sales revenue in Estonia grew by 4.0% in the third quarter and by 0.2% in the first nine months of the year. In the first nine months the group earned a net profit of 144.7 million kroons. The result for the same period a year ago was a loss of 23 million kroons.
Tallinna Kaubamaja's consolidated unaudited sales revenue in the first nine months of 2010 was 4.6 billion kroons, down 3.6% from 4.8 billion kroons in the respective period a year ago, the retailer told the stock exchange.
Estonian Swedes Elect Cultural Council
22 November (BNS) - Estonian Swedes elected their new cultural council from Friday until Saturday; more than half the Estonian Swedes eligible to vote took part in the elections.
According to preliminary information 56% of the Estonian Swedes entitled to vote took part in the elections, Uile Kark-Remes, chairman of the cultural council of the Swedish ethnic cultural minority, told BNS. The electoral activity was the highest in Haapsalu, where it was above 60%. In Stockholm 58% and in Tallinn 52% of Estonian Swedes took part the elections to the cultural council.
The cultural council of the Swedish ethnic minority is made up of 21 persons, and the number of candidates was 25. The final electoral results will be released by the general electoral committee on Wednesday, taking into consideration the results of the mail-in votes that will have arrived by that time. Sent ballots that were postmarked no later than 18 November will be taken into consideration.
The previous elections to the cultural council of the Swedish ethnic minority took place in 2007.