Roundtable on Military Associations in Tallinn, Estonia
On 23 May 2017, EUROMIL organised a roundtable discussion on military associations in Estonia. As a follow-up to the “Roundtable on the Role of Military Associations and Unions in the Baltic Countries and Eastern Region” organised by EUROMIL in cooperation with OSCE ODIHR in June 2016, EUROMIL now focused on the situation in Estonia.
The roundtable brought together the relevant Estonian stakeholders to discuss the current situation of associations for military personnel in the country. While military personnel are forbidden to form and join trade unions in Estonia, they enjoy the right of association. Several military associations exist in Estonia (dealing with retired or reserve personnel, active serving personnel as well as veterans). The existing associations are engaged in cultural and social activities but are not specifically working on the professional situation of military personnel. The Ministry of Defence is partly funding military associations and is consulting them on an ad hoc basis when working on major legislative proposals concerning the armed forces.
EUROMIL’s President Emmanuel Jacob said that it is EUROMIL’s firm believe that military associations should be involved in a regulated structured social dialogue with the authorities, thus enabling military personnel to negotiate their working conditions. With different associations already existing in Estonia, he is convinced that the basic conditions are already in place. He assured the participants that EUROMIL is available to share information and experiences whenever wanted and needed.