Representations   Estonia


Eesti Õpilasesinduste Liit - EÕEL
Estonian School Student Councils’ Union - ESCU

Type of Members

School student councils

Amount of members


General Assembly


Representing 90 schools.


The total budget is around €100 000.

Members don’t have to contribute. Sources of funds are diverse:
- Youth organisations’ yearly financial support (Ministry of Education)
- Funding from the Ministry of Education and the local government of Tallinn to give money to ESCU's members for their projects
- International student card Scholar, owned by the Federation of Estonian Student Unions. It's connected with SEB Bank via advertisements (Private sector)
- The Federation of Estonian Student Unions (partner organisations)
- Local governments

Organisation's Staff

ESCU has 7 members of staff.

One person is working full-time, 6 are working part-time. Additionally there are 7 board members.

Year of Foundation


Basic Structure

Basic structure

The highest decision-making body is the general assembly. The daily affairs are managed by a board. Additionally, ESCU has a powerful auditing commission which is elected every two years by the GA.

Other Student Unions

Eesti Noorteühenduste Liit (Estonian National Youth Council) - This organisation promotes the cooperation of youth associations and active participation of young people in society, and works for the recognition of their participation

Student Representations

The law of Basic Schools and Gymnasiums promotes the representation of students and allows the creation of school councils. There aren’t any laws that hinder the representation but they are very general.

Students at School Level

Every class elects 2-8 people (grades 7-12) for the school student councils GA. Then 3-12 people are elected to the board, which is (should be) also represented in regional and national level.

Students in Municipal or Governmental Bodies

There are students included in working groups of the Ministry of Education. When the government wants to make a decision concerning students ESCU is often involved in through working groups or other means.

In governmental bodies ESCU represents students and relationships with the state are good. In municipal bodies representation depends on the region. Some regions have more active students and obviously representation is better and more effective there. Everyone has a chance. We try to cover the expenses of active students.
At some local governments there are regional school student councils’ unions (depending on the region). Unfortunately there are few of them because students don’t have enough experience and local governments don’t start youth representative bodies themselves. The main reason for this is that most of the active students are not adults and can’t vote in a election. It’s not directly beneficial for political parties.
Slowly we are moving to students’ representation at municipal bodies through youth city councils.


ESCU made a change in the Law of Basic School and Gymnasium to the Ministry of Education that was accepted by the ministry. Also ESCU participates in different working groups of the ministry and all decisions concerning students are discussed. Hearing students’ opinion unfortunately also depends on the political approach of the government.


The general situation in Estonia is quite instable. Also, young people are not always valued as whole citizens and informing school students is a difficult process.


• Competition between organisations – there are so many youth organisations that have the same aims but they don’t want to co-operate.
• Spreading information – media talks about education and active youth so few that most of the people don’t know anything about these topics. Sometimes big events are held for young people but only few come to them. Then arrangers (e.g. local government) accuse youth that they are passive and not caring.
• Social background – lack of money, bad location (e.g. far from big cities)

School Systems