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The Procedure for the Accreditation of Journalists Representing Foreign Media

Terms and procedure for accreditation of journalists representing foreign mass media
Passed 04.05.2017 No. 5

The regulation is established on the basis of clause 9 (7) 5) and (12) of the Foreign Relations Act.

Chapter 1

ACCREDITATION

§ 1.  General principles of accreditation

(1) A journalist representing a foreign mass medium (hereinafter journalist) shall be accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(2) The application for accreditation is voluntary.

§ 2.  Documents submitted for accreditation

(1) A journalist shall submit the following documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs electronically or on paper:

1) the accreditation form published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

2) an application for the accreditation of a journalist signed by the editor-in-chief of the mass medium, in which the competence of the journalist in the field of foreign policy or foreign economic policy is confirmed and the main indicators of cooperation between the journalist and the mass medium are indicated;

3) previously published articles, opinion stories, interviews or other samples of the work performed by the journalist;

4) a brief introduction of the mass medium to which the journalist contributes.

(2) In addition to the documents specified in subsection (1), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall have the right to request other documents and information which are necessary for making an accreditation decision.

(3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may, if necessary, invite a journalist for an interview.

(4) If a journalist has failed to submit a document or has submitted incomplete information, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall set a term for the journalist to eliminate the deficiencies, which is at least seven calendar days. If the deficiencies are not eliminated within the term, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall have the right to refuse to review the application.

§ 3.  Term of accreditation proceedings

The term of the accreditation proceedings is up to 30 calendar days as of the submission of the accreditation form to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Upon request for the additional documents specified in subsection 2 (2) of this Regulation, the term shall be extended by the term granted for submission of additional documents.

§ 4.  Accreditation decision
(1) A decision to accredit a journalist (hereinafter accreditation decision) shall be valid for one year, in case of repeated accreditation for two years.

(2) Accreditation may be refused if:

1) false information or forged documents have been submitted upon application for accreditation;

2) the purpose of the accreditation application submitted by the journalist does not correspond to the actual purpose of coming to Estonia;

3) the journalist does not follow or has not followed the constitutional order of Estonia and does not comply with the Estonian legislation;

4) the journalist has a valid punishment for a criminal offense committed intentionally in Estonia;

5) the journalist has terminated his or her contribution to the mass medium which applied for accreditation;

6) the mass medium which applied for accreditation has suspended or terminated its activities;

7) other circumstances precluding accreditation become evident.

(3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall notify the journalist of the accreditation decision electronically at the e-mail address indicated in the accreditation form within five working days as of the making of the decision.

(4) A decision to refuse accreditation shall be formalized by a directive of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

§ 5.  Revocation of accreditation decision
(1) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may revoke an accreditation decision on the bases specified in subsection 4 (2) of this Regulation or if a journalist himself or herself requests the revocation of the accreditation decision.

(2) If an accreditation decision is revoked on the bases specified in clauses 4 (2) 1)-4), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall have the right to refuse to accredit a journalist hereinafter.

(3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall notify the journalist of the decision to revoke the accreditation decision electronically at the e-mail address indicated in the accreditation form within five working days as of the making of the decision.

(4) A decision to revoke an accreditation decision shall be formalized by a directive of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

§ 6.  Accreditation certificate
(1) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall issue to an accredited journalist an accreditation certificate, which is a document certifying the accreditation of the journalist at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(2) An accreditation certificate may be used as one of the base documents for applying for a temporary residence permit specified in clause 181 (1) 2) of the Aliens Act.

(3) The following information shall be entered on an accreditation certificate:

1) the period of validity of the accreditation certificate;
2) the given name and surname of the journalist;
3) the date of birth of the journalist;
4) the name of the mass medium represented by the journalist;
5) the number of the identity document of the journalist.

(4) An accreditation certificate shall expire upon expiry of the accreditation or entry into force of the decision to revoke the accreditation decision.

(5) Upon termination of accreditation, a journalist may apply for re-accreditation, after which a new accreditation certificate shall be issued.

Chapter 2

Implementing provisions

§ 7.  Validity of issued press cards

Press cards issued on the basis of Regulation No. 4 of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of 13 November 2006 “Conditions and Procedure for Accreditation of Journalists Representing Foreign Media” shall be valid until the end of their period of validity, unless at least one of the grounds specified in subsection 4 (2) of this Regulation exists, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall revoke the press card.

§ 8.  Repeal of earlier legislation Regulation No. 4 of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of 13 November 2006 “Conditions and Procedure for Accreditation of Journalists Representing Foreign Mass Media” (RTL 2006, 82, 1516) shall be repealed.

Sven Mikser
Minister

Rainer Saks
Secretary General

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Last updated: 1 December 2020

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