Brussels comes via Helsinki: The Role of Finland in Europeanisation of Estonian Education Policy

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Anu Toots


Europeanisation has manifold impact on national public policies. One of them is increasing interest to learn from reform experiences in other member states and adjust domestic policies accordingly. Education as a traditionally very national field of policy has only recently become an object of Europeanisation. Yet, today common EU objectives and benchmarks in education and training stimulate member states to look more carefully to the countries that perform well. The current paper deals with this new multi-level situation in policy-learning where EU member states draw lessons from each other in order to adjust their domestic policies to the EU objectives. The education policy of Estonia, which used to draw lessons from the neighbouring Finland, serves as an empirical case for investigation. The aim of this paper is to study whether the role of Finland in the adjustment of the Estonian education policy to the EU objectives has evolved in time. The analysis revealed a significant evolution in arguments and instruments of lessondrawing. Study findings suggest that Finland has played a catalyzing role in the Europeanisation of the Estonian education policy only for a short period. Today the EU has became a more important arena of learning than the neighbouring Finland.

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