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President of the Republic upon bestowing certificates of citizenship

President of the Republic upon bestowing certificates of citizenship © Mattias Tammet

21.08.2017

Dear Estonian citizens,

I am delighted to honour and thank you all on the occasion of the important decision you have made – to become citizens of the Republic of Estonia.

Choosing Estonian citizenship was a decision you made freely, according to your own best judgment and feelings.

We all have many ways to define ourselves. We all belong to our family, our home community; we have colleagues and fellow practitioners of interests. We all undoubtedly also have an ethnic group we belong to. In addition, we also make up a natural part of a country, the affairs of which we ourselves can shape.

By opting for Estonian citizenship, you attach importance to the values on which our country was founded. You value freedom and democracy, solidarity and the rights of the individual, and freedom of speech and religion. You value Estonia's cultural space – language, culture, customs, traditions and values. Naturally, you will also hold on to your own ethnic group's traditions and mother tongue, as the Estonian Constitution does not require you to become a different person. Estonia is a free country, and you consider this country to be your home.

It is now up to you how to use the new opportunities that becoming a citizen of the Republic of Estonia offers you, and how you will participate in the life of the country as a citizen. How will you turn your good wishes and ideas into reality? I urge you to use your rights as citizens for your own good, for the good of your family, your home community and surroundings– for the benefit of all of us and a better Republic of Estonia.

Your legal relationship with the Estonian state is now clear and defined: you are part of the citizenry of the Republic of Estonia, in whom the supreme power is vested, along with all the rights and responsibilities entailed by the relationship between state and citizen.

I am certain that when you return home today, you will hold on what is distinctive to you, and promote that which is common to all of us.

I wish you a wonderful life as citizens of the Republic of Estonia!