Speeches president http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches 2018-02-21T16:27:36Z Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management President of the Republic at the Ceremony for Awarding Decorations 2018-02-21T10:40:38Z 2018-02-21T10:40:38Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/14133-president-of-the-republic-at-the-ceremony-for-awarding-decorations Elke Rimpel Elke.Rimpel@vpk.ee <p></p> <p>Around this time 25 years ago, in his first Independence Day speech as president, Lennart Meri said the following: "I saw Estonia as if for the first time: it is a new land, full of hope and potential, but also a land burdened with worries. At the moment, we live on idealism more so than bread. The bearer of this idealism is the older generation, which knows and remembers that Estonia, between the two world wars, was transformed into a powerful and dynamic republic only through hard work. Idealism is also borne by the Estonian youth, just as at the time the Manifesto was proclaimed."</p> <p></p> <p>Around this time 25 years ago, in his first Independence Day speech as president, Lennart Meri said the following: "I saw Estonia as if for the first time: it is a new land, full of hope and potential, but also a land burdened with worries. At the moment, we live on idealism more so than bread. The bearer of this idealism is the older generation, which knows and remembers that Estonia, between the two world wars, was transformed into a powerful and dynamic republic only through hard work. Idealism is also borne by the Estonian youth, just as at the time the Manifesto was proclaimed."</p> Keynote speech by the President of Estonia at MSC side event “NATO’s Challenges on the Eastern Flank: Enhancing Forward Presence and Maintaining Cohesion“ 2018-02-15T19:00:33Z 2018-02-15T19:00:33Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/14125-keynote-speech-by-the-president-of-estonia-at-msc-side-event-natos-challenges-on-the-eastern-flank-enhancing-forward-presence-and-maintaining-cohesion Anne-Pille Krigolson Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee <p>Dear Ambassador Ischinger, Minister Schmidt, Admiral Nielson,<br />Ladies and gentlemen</p> <p>First of all I would like to thank the German Atlantic Association and the Munich Security Conference for organizing this side-event. As Estonia is one of the four host nations of the eFP Battle Groups, I would like to use this opportunity to give an overview on what has been done during the last one and a half years since the Warsaw Summit, and what should be done further. And finally also a couple of thoughts on what we should NOT do in regards to eFP and the cohesion of NATO as a whole.</p> <p>What has been done</p> <p>Although the creation and deployment of eFP-s was primarily triggered by the 2014 events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, for Estonia the aim of getting Allied military presence on our soil goes back much further. Against the background of the constant negative tendencies in European security, gaining NATO membership in 2004, becoming part of the collective security space, was a huge and positive development for the Baltic Sea region. But it was certainly not "the end of history" for us. We understood already back then that in order to have fully credible collective defense, one needs also to work on interoperability, realistic contingency planning and military presence by other Allied countries.</p> <p>Looking towards the East, we see a steady military build-up and modernization of the Russian Armed Forces that started already some 10 years ago. Originally, this was explained as a matter of a long-postponed defence reform. More recently, it has been called a reaction to the small Allied contingents deployed in the Baltics. Whatever the reason for the build-up, it is a fact that today the permanent size of the troop contingent in Western Russia is equal to the level that in 2009 was only attained for a short period of time during the exercise ZAPAD 2009. This, unfortunately, is the new normality for us.</p> <p>Dear Ambassador Ischinger, Minister Schmidt, Admiral Nielson,<br />Ladies and gentlemen</p> <p>First of all I would like to thank the German Atlantic Association and the Munich Security Conference for organizing this side-event. As Estonia is one of the four host nations of the eFP Battle Groups, I would like to use this opportunity to give an overview on what has been done during the last one and a half years since the Warsaw Summit, and what should be done further. And finally also a couple of thoughts on what we should NOT do in regards to eFP and the cohesion of NATO as a whole.</p> <p>What has been done</p> <p>Although the creation and deployment of eFP-s was primarily triggered by the 2014 events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, for Estonia the aim of getting Allied military presence on our soil goes back much further. Against the background of the constant negative tendencies in European security, gaining NATO membership in 2004, becoming part of the collective security space, was a huge and positive development for the Baltic Sea region. But it was certainly not "the end of history" for us. We understood already back then that in order to have fully credible collective defense, one needs also to work on interoperability, realistic contingency planning and military presence by other Allied countries.</p> <p>Looking towards the East, we see a steady military build-up and modernization of the Russian Armed Forces that started already some 10 years ago. Originally, this was explained as a matter of a long-postponed defence reform. More recently, it has been called a reaction to the small Allied contingents deployed in the Baltics. Whatever the reason for the build-up, it is a fact that today the permanent size of the troop contingent in Western Russia is equal to the level that in 2009 was only attained for a short period of time during the exercise ZAPAD 2009. This, unfortunately, is the new normality for us.</p> New Year’s greeting from the President of the Republic on Freedom Square 2017-12-31T19:39:42Z 2017-12-31T19:39:42Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13868-new-years-greeting-from-the-president-of-the-republic-on-freedom-square-31-december-2017 Anne-Pille Krigolson Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee <p>My dear Estonian nation,</p> <p>On the 1st of July of this year, something very special happened right here on Freedom Square. A spontaneous dance celebration, which went from idea to reality in just a few hours. This event was an emphatic way to enter a new century in the history of Estonian statehood. This is exactly how we will start living in the second century of Estonian independence. At light speed. No time given for last-minute adjustments.</p> <p>But this new pace of life has its charm. Everybody's ideas count. Everyone's actions are a part of our society. Our entire society is the sum of our collective acts. Everyone has an equal opportunity to accomplish something great.</p> <p>As to whose idea is turned into action, that depends on their initiative. As to which achievement becomes a symbol or sign of the times, this is something that will become clear in hindsight. Symbols both good and bad can trigger something that changes the pattern of our society.</p> <p>In 2017, the pattern-changers were people we didn't expect. Or they changed the patterns in ways we perhaps weren't able to fear.</p> <p>In our new century of independence, everyone has more independence. Anyone's dream can end up determining the future course of life in Estonia. Anyone's misfortune, worry, even mistake can be the factor that makes you and me take action to make this a better society. Nowadays, we are ever less reliant on government institutions when it comes to bettering our society. Increasingly, what we need from these institutions is simply their support.</p> <p>For example, it took the Tallinn City Office no time at all to realize the significance of the dance celebration on Freedom Square. As seamless society grows and becomes stronger, the state is increasingly a supporter, an enabler in the positive sense of the word.</p> <p>That doesn't mean the state's role in our lives is shrinking, only that it is changing into something different. Security, healthcare, education, coping with great misfortunes in life – the state provides all of this according to its abilities, to the extent that we as taxpayers approve. If we want to go beyond that in coming to someone's rescue or preserving something – or just to improve our spirits – we can. We're allowed to. But, as the organizers of the dance celebration on Freedom Square emphasized implicitly with every step – it won't happen through divisiveness and opposition.</p> <p>My dear Estonian nation,</p> <p>On the 1st of July of this year, something very special happened right here on Freedom Square. A spontaneous dance celebration, which went from idea to reality in just a few hours. This event was an emphatic way to enter a new century in the history of Estonian statehood. This is exactly how we will start living in the second century of Estonian independence. At light speed. No time given for last-minute adjustments.</p> <p>But this new pace of life has its charm. Everybody's ideas count. Everyone's actions are a part of our society. Our entire society is the sum of our collective acts. Everyone has an equal opportunity to accomplish something great.</p> <p>As to whose idea is turned into action, that depends on their initiative. As to which achievement becomes a symbol or sign of the times, this is something that will become clear in hindsight. Symbols both good and bad can trigger something that changes the pattern of our society.</p> <p>In 2017, the pattern-changers were people we didn't expect. Or they changed the patterns in ways we perhaps weren't able to fear.</p> <p>In our new century of independence, everyone has more independence. Anyone's dream can end up determining the future course of life in Estonia. Anyone's misfortune, worry, even mistake can be the factor that makes you and me take action to make this a better society. Nowadays, we are ever less reliant on government institutions when it comes to bettering our society. Increasingly, what we need from these institutions is simply their support.</p> <p>For example, it took the Tallinn City Office no time at all to realize the significance of the dance celebration on Freedom Square. As seamless society grows and becomes stronger, the state is increasingly a supporter, an enabler in the positive sense of the word.</p> <p>That doesn't mean the state's role in our lives is shrinking, only that it is changing into something different. Security, healthcare, education, coping with great misfortunes in life – the state provides all of this according to its abilities, to the extent that we as taxpayers approve. If we want to go beyond that in coming to someone's rescue or preserving something – or just to improve our spirits – we can. We're allowed to. But, as the organizers of the dance celebration on Freedom Square emphasized implicitly with every step – it won't happen through divisiveness and opposition.</p> Speeches given during Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2017-12-30T22:00:00Z 2017-12-30T22:00:00Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/14116-speeches-given-during-estonian-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu Mailin Aasmäe mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee <p>Here you can find the speeches given by President Kaljulaid during Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.</p> <p>*</p> <p><strong>May</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13246-address-by-the-president-of-the-republic-of-estonia-kersti-kaljulaid-on-the-future-of-europe-and-the-estonian-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu-at-the-state-of-the-union-conference-2017-in-florence-on-5-may-2017/index.html" target="_blank">Address by the President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid on the Future of Europe and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU at the State of the Union Conference 2017 in Florence on 5 May 2017</a><br />"We take on our presidency with a strong sense of responsibility, but also with enthusiasm. And we have set ourselves some ambitious goals. We aim at a European Union that is competitive, prosperous and secure. We are determined to keep Europe safe but also open to the outside world, including its immediate neighbourhood. And, of course, being Estonia, there is the horizontal digital aspect of practically every policy goal of EU that we want to highlight."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13319-president-of-the-republic-at-the-tallinn-e-governance-conference-2017-30-may-2017/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Tallinn e-Governance Conference on 30 May 2017</a><br />"Here in Estonia, we have managed the balance between security and freedom by providing a network of public and private e-services based on a secure online identity. I am proud to be the president of the only digital society that has a state. As of last year, we are proud to be the first in the world in Internet freedom according to Freedom House – we are No. 1 yet again."</p> <p><strong>June </strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13336-president-of-the-republic-at-the-opening-of-eurodig/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Opening of EuroDIG 6 June</a><br />"We do not have to see freedom and security as mutually exclusive: indeed secure online interactions are a precondition for enjoying full Internet freedom."</p> <p><strong>July</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13419-president-of-the-republic-/index.html" target="_blank">Address of the President of the Republic to the Estonian people on the eve of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 1 July</a><br />"The European Union we are a part of is not ideal. It will not be ideal after our Presidency either. The democratic system of decision-making also provides technically imperfect results in a single state, where we balance our own differing desires. The same applies, albeit in a more complex way, to international cooperation based on democratic values."</p> <p><strong>September<br /></strong><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13535-president-of-the-republic-at-the-annual-baltic-conference-on-defence-2017-european-defence-cooperation-out-of-the-shadows/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2017 – European Defence Cooperation: Out of the Shadows? September 6</a><br />"While we gather here in Tallinn for the ABCD conference – a conference that has become a traditional and anticipated event – there is a gathering of a completely different kind in the training areas of Russia's Western Military District and Belorussia. Namely the Russian military exercise Zapad 2017, meaning "west" in Russian. An event that has also become sort of a traditional one, but certainly nothing that is well-anticipated on this side of the border."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13547-president-of-the-republic-at-the-young-eurosai-yes-conference/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Young EUROSAI (YES) Conference September 12<br /></a>"You are young and enthusiastic, it is for you to achieve that in next 10 years you can return to your office and say that underlying data was not available, unless it is presented on an analytical, sortable database."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13549-president-of-the-republic-at-the-qfuture-of-work-making-it-e-easyq/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the "Future of Work: Making It e-Easy" 13 September</a><br />"Instead of curbing people's ability to adapt by talking sustenance fees we should focus on the ability of modern technology to rise the earning capacity of the society as a whole, inclusively."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13593-president-of-the-republic-at-the-award-ceremony-of-eucys-2017/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the award ceremony of EUCYS 2017 26 September</a><br />"If the Artificial Intelligence develops sufficiently, you may actually even start delegating some thinking, for example the creation of algorithms to seek through a mass of data, to a robot. But there is one thing which will never change. Your responsibility to your discoveries, but also to humanity."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13605-president-kaljulaid-at-the-tallinn-digital-summit/index.html" target="_blank">President Kaljulaid at the Tallinn Digital Summit 29 September</a> <br />"Going digital – this was also an opportunity of radical rethink and simplification because simply making an existing paper process digital is not such a good idea. In some ways, the current public processes, paper processes, they are like fossil fuel – they have formed over generations of people and lawmakers, getting more and more complex over time, and more and more political compromises weave their way into these regulations."</p> <p><strong>October</strong><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13616-president-kaljulaid-at-the-conference-soli-for-sustainable-food-production-and-ecosystem-services/index.html" target="_blank"><br />President Kaljulaid at the conference: Soil for sustainable food production and ecosystem services 5 October</a><br />"We must ask ourselves: have we done enough to protect our soils? Have the implemented measures made it more probable that our children and grandchildren can enjoy life and food the way we are able to enjoy them?"</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13659-closing-keynote-by-the-president-of-the-republic-at-health-in-the-digital-society-digital-society-for-health/index.html" target="_blank">Closing keynote by the President of the Republic at "Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health" 18 October</a> <br />"Last but not least, the future is brighter for everyone, if we make use of the vast amount of data generated every day in health sector to contribute to the outcome based organisation and financing of health and care services by allowing monitoring of healthcare quality, providing more transparency and enabling evidence based policy and decision-making."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13731-president-kaljulaid-at-the-manufuture-2017-conference-in-tallinn/index.html" target="_blank">President Kaljulaid at the Manufuture 2017 Conference in Tallinn 24 October</a><br />"It is encouraging that nothing we have done in Estonia has been created any cutting-edge technology. Tech-wise, all we use is pretty well tried and tested by other actors, mostly private, in the world. It makes it cheaper, and more reliable."</p> <p><strong>November</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13744-at-the-digital-transport-days-2017-/index.html" target="_blank">At the Digital Transport Days 2017 in Tallinn 11 November</a><br />"Countries around the world are facing the challenge of understanding the rise of AI, which is increasingly affecting the daily lives of their populations. The transport sector is one of the key stakeholders in this strategic debate, a definite frontrunner, but it should not egoistically attempt to legislate sectorally."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13782-president-of-the-republic-at-the-plenary-meeting-of-the-lviii-cosac/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic At the Plenary Meeting of the LVIII COSAC 27 November in Tallinn</a><br />"Better respect for the principles of subsidiarity will create in itself much space for solidarity in our budget."</p> <p><strong>December</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13866-president-of-the-republic-at-the-business-europe-council-meeting-in-tallinn/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Business Europe Council Meeting in Tallinn 1 December<br /></a>"Estonians care about online enough to make sure they are also well protected. They are by definition better protected than citizens of those governments who have not provided their citizens with safe identification online. The only thing the state does here is to provide a digital passport, a digital ID."</p> <p>Here you can find the speeches given by President Kaljulaid during Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.</p> <p>*</p> <p><strong>May</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13246-address-by-the-president-of-the-republic-of-estonia-kersti-kaljulaid-on-the-future-of-europe-and-the-estonian-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu-at-the-state-of-the-union-conference-2017-in-florence-on-5-may-2017/index.html" target="_blank">Address by the President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid on the Future of Europe and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU at the State of the Union Conference 2017 in Florence on 5 May 2017</a><br />"We take on our presidency with a strong sense of responsibility, but also with enthusiasm. And we have set ourselves some ambitious goals. We aim at a European Union that is competitive, prosperous and secure. We are determined to keep Europe safe but also open to the outside world, including its immediate neighbourhood. And, of course, being Estonia, there is the horizontal digital aspect of practically every policy goal of EU that we want to highlight."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13319-president-of-the-republic-at-the-tallinn-e-governance-conference-2017-30-may-2017/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Tallinn e-Governance Conference on 30 May 2017</a><br />"Here in Estonia, we have managed the balance between security and freedom by providing a network of public and private e-services based on a secure online identity. I am proud to be the president of the only digital society that has a state. As of last year, we are proud to be the first in the world in Internet freedom according to Freedom House – we are No. 1 yet again."</p> <p><strong>June </strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13336-president-of-the-republic-at-the-opening-of-eurodig/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Opening of EuroDIG 6 June</a><br />"We do not have to see freedom and security as mutually exclusive: indeed secure online interactions are a precondition for enjoying full Internet freedom."</p> <p><strong>July</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13419-president-of-the-republic-/index.html" target="_blank">Address of the President of the Republic to the Estonian people on the eve of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 1 July</a><br />"The European Union we are a part of is not ideal. It will not be ideal after our Presidency either. The democratic system of decision-making also provides technically imperfect results in a single state, where we balance our own differing desires. The same applies, albeit in a more complex way, to international cooperation based on democratic values."</p> <p><strong>September<br /></strong><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13535-president-of-the-republic-at-the-annual-baltic-conference-on-defence-2017-european-defence-cooperation-out-of-the-shadows/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2017 – European Defence Cooperation: Out of the Shadows? September 6</a><br />"While we gather here in Tallinn for the ABCD conference – a conference that has become a traditional and anticipated event – there is a gathering of a completely different kind in the training areas of Russia's Western Military District and Belorussia. Namely the Russian military exercise Zapad 2017, meaning "west" in Russian. An event that has also become sort of a traditional one, but certainly nothing that is well-anticipated on this side of the border."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13547-president-of-the-republic-at-the-young-eurosai-yes-conference/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Young EUROSAI (YES) Conference September 12<br /></a>"You are young and enthusiastic, it is for you to achieve that in next 10 years you can return to your office and say that underlying data was not available, unless it is presented on an analytical, sortable database."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13549-president-of-the-republic-at-the-qfuture-of-work-making-it-e-easyq/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the "Future of Work: Making It e-Easy" 13 September</a><br />"Instead of curbing people's ability to adapt by talking sustenance fees we should focus on the ability of modern technology to rise the earning capacity of the society as a whole, inclusively."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13593-president-of-the-republic-at-the-award-ceremony-of-eucys-2017/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the award ceremony of EUCYS 2017 26 September</a><br />"If the Artificial Intelligence develops sufficiently, you may actually even start delegating some thinking, for example the creation of algorithms to seek through a mass of data, to a robot. But there is one thing which will never change. Your responsibility to your discoveries, but also to humanity."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13605-president-kaljulaid-at-the-tallinn-digital-summit/index.html" target="_blank">President Kaljulaid at the Tallinn Digital Summit 29 September</a> <br />"Going digital – this was also an opportunity of radical rethink and simplification because simply making an existing paper process digital is not such a good idea. In some ways, the current public processes, paper processes, they are like fossil fuel – they have formed over generations of people and lawmakers, getting more and more complex over time, and more and more political compromises weave their way into these regulations."</p> <p><strong>October</strong><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13616-president-kaljulaid-at-the-conference-soli-for-sustainable-food-production-and-ecosystem-services/index.html" target="_blank"><br />President Kaljulaid at the conference: Soil for sustainable food production and ecosystem services 5 October</a><br />"We must ask ourselves: have we done enough to protect our soils? Have the implemented measures made it more probable that our children and grandchildren can enjoy life and food the way we are able to enjoy them?"</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13659-closing-keynote-by-the-president-of-the-republic-at-health-in-the-digital-society-digital-society-for-health/index.html" target="_blank">Closing keynote by the President of the Republic at "Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health" 18 October</a> <br />"Last but not least, the future is brighter for everyone, if we make use of the vast amount of data generated every day in health sector to contribute to the outcome based organisation and financing of health and care services by allowing monitoring of healthcare quality, providing more transparency and enabling evidence based policy and decision-making."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13731-president-kaljulaid-at-the-manufuture-2017-conference-in-tallinn/index.html" target="_blank">President Kaljulaid at the Manufuture 2017 Conference in Tallinn 24 October</a><br />"It is encouraging that nothing we have done in Estonia has been created any cutting-edge technology. Tech-wise, all we use is pretty well tried and tested by other actors, mostly private, in the world. It makes it cheaper, and more reliable."</p> <p><strong>November</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13744-at-the-digital-transport-days-2017-/index.html" target="_blank">At the Digital Transport Days 2017 in Tallinn 11 November</a><br />"Countries around the world are facing the challenge of understanding the rise of AI, which is increasingly affecting the daily lives of their populations. The transport sector is one of the key stakeholders in this strategic debate, a definite frontrunner, but it should not egoistically attempt to legislate sectorally."</p> <p><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13782-president-of-the-republic-at-the-plenary-meeting-of-the-lviii-cosac/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic At the Plenary Meeting of the LVIII COSAC 27 November in Tallinn</a><br />"Better respect for the principles of subsidiarity will create in itself much space for solidarity in our budget."</p> <p><strong>December</strong><br /><a href="https://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13866-president-of-the-republic-at-the-business-europe-council-meeting-in-tallinn/index.html" target="_blank">President of the Republic at the Business Europe Council Meeting in Tallinn 1 December<br /></a>"Estonians care about online enough to make sure they are also well protected. They are by definition better protected than citizens of those governments who have not provided their citizens with safe identification online. The only thing the state does here is to provide a digital passport, a digital ID."</p> Welcome remarks at the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Estonian and Latvian accession to the Schengen area 2017-12-20T22:00:00Z 2017-12-20T22:00:00Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13854--welcome-remarks-at-the-commemoration-of-the-10th-anniversary-of-estonian-and-latvian-accession-to-the-schengen-area Mailin Aasmäe mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee <p>Honourable President Vējonis,</p> <p>ladies and gentlemen.</p> <p>police and border guard members,</p> <p>the good residents of Valga and Valka,</p> <p>Time flies – it has already been ten years since the physical border between our countries disappeared. Being neighbours, we had close relations before that time as well, but the lifting of border checks at the Estonian and Latvian border crossings upon accession to the Schengen visa area made interactions between people even simpler and smoother. The dividing line vanished and gave the inhabitants of the border regions impetus to do things and build their home communities together because doing things alone just doesn't yield the same outcome. Together, we have contributed to creating a business-friendly environment in the border regions – it can't be denied, we have done our share to make the Latvian border regions among the most popular destinations for many Estonians, improved services related to health care, developed a joint vocational education system, laid the conditions for cross-border employment, improved our living environment and found solutions to individual problems on our agenda.</p> <p>We perceive this change best here, in the twin cities of Valga and Valka, where the cooperation between the two communities has always been mutually beneficial and necessary to both sides. A very good example is the way the public urban space is shared by the twin towns, the development of the city centre, and the collaboration in providing art and music education. Valga County Vocational Training Centre offers education to Estonians and Latvians and the inhabitants of both countries receive medical care from Valga Hospital. We can deepen and improve that cooperation and solidarity even further to prevent new barriers from taking the place of the former physical border and getting in the way of people.</p> <p>We tend to grow quickly accustomed to good things It's the same way with the freedom that the Schengen Area has given us. We take the lack of borders for granted, but to keep it that way, we have to do work every day because calls to dismantle the Schengen system are still heard in Europe.</p> <p>Honourable President Vējonis,</p> <p>ladies and gentlemen.</p> <p>police and border guard members,</p> <p>the good residents of Valga and Valka,</p> <p>Time flies – it has already been ten years since the physical border between our countries disappeared. Being neighbours, we had close relations before that time as well, but the lifting of border checks at the Estonian and Latvian border crossings upon accession to the Schengen visa area made interactions between people even simpler and smoother. The dividing line vanished and gave the inhabitants of the border regions impetus to do things and build their home communities together because doing things alone just doesn't yield the same outcome. Together, we have contributed to creating a business-friendly environment in the border regions – it can't be denied, we have done our share to make the Latvian border regions among the most popular destinations for many Estonians, improved services related to health care, developed a joint vocational education system, laid the conditions for cross-border employment, improved our living environment and found solutions to individual problems on our agenda.</p> <p>We perceive this change best here, in the twin cities of Valga and Valka, where the cooperation between the two communities has always been mutually beneficial and necessary to both sides. A very good example is the way the public urban space is shared by the twin towns, the development of the city centre, and the collaboration in providing art and music education. Valga County Vocational Training Centre offers education to Estonians and Latvians and the inhabitants of both countries receive medical care from Valga Hospital. We can deepen and improve that cooperation and solidarity even further to prevent new barriers from taking the place of the former physical border and getting in the way of people.</p> <p>We tend to grow quickly accustomed to good things It's the same way with the freedom that the Schengen Area has given us. We take the lack of borders for granted, but to keep it that way, we have to do work every day because calls to dismantle the Schengen system are still heard in Europe.</p> President of the Republic at sTARTUp Day 2017 2017-12-08T10:42:13Z 2017-12-08T10:42:13Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13807-president-of-the-republic-at-startup-day-2017 Mattias Tammet mattias.tammet@vpk.ee <p>I know it took several years to set up a Startup Day for Tartu, but now you have already made it happen a second year in a row so in the Estonian mindset we can already call it an old tradition. I am convinced that new entrepreneurial environment for Tartu has already been born.</p> <p>I have also heard that the idea for this day was born in a sauna, also something very Estonian. We embrace new technologies and do it in a radically disorganised way, in a way that a normal country would never do. But planning long ahead was so 20th century. In the 21st century the technology changes so quickly.</p> <p>As we all know, industrial area jobs are vanishing quickly. As McKinsey`s newest study shows, digitalization and automation have the potential to rebuild a major growth path, within a resilient job market. It is very important to be an innovator and a frontrunner in the field of digitalization. We think that by the end of 2030, 27% of all current jobs&nbsp;in Estonia will be replaced. And this will all come from the fact that we use our digital society to promote our economy, to promote our entrepreneurs and enterprises. Otherwise, if we suddenly started to be afraid of the future and to complain that all this cyber thing is so dangerous, then we would end up with a net loss of jobs by 0,4% during this period. The same dynamics apply to everybody, a developed or a developing country.</p> <p>When Estonia started to go digital it was not a rich country. On the contrary. Estonia realised that since we were a relatively poor country we had to do things differently. This is a very encouraging sign that you can be innovative at every income level, GDP per capita does not matter. What matters is courage, the ability to cooperate between private and public sector and the states readiness to create a legally permissive environment for investment. Actually the first time we did it was when we created a really good tax system and year later we repeated it when we created a permissive environment for the Estonian Genome Foundation. Estonia and Iceland were the two countries that created such an environment for gene technology development and they managed to get private companies involved. You know what happened then? Other states joined the market. They paid public money to get things done. Let`s make sure that the same thing doesn`t happen with digital innovation.</p> <p>I know it took several years to set up a Startup Day for Tartu, but now you have already made it happen a second year in a row so in the Estonian mindset we can already call it an old tradition. I am convinced that new entrepreneurial environment for Tartu has already been born.</p> <p>I have also heard that the idea for this day was born in a sauna, also something very Estonian. We embrace new technologies and do it in a radically disorganised way, in a way that a normal country would never do. But planning long ahead was so 20th century. In the 21st century the technology changes so quickly.</p> <p>As we all know, industrial area jobs are vanishing quickly. As McKinsey`s newest study shows, digitalization and automation have the potential to rebuild a major growth path, within a resilient job market. It is very important to be an innovator and a frontrunner in the field of digitalization. We think that by the end of 2030, 27% of all current jobs&nbsp;in Estonia will be replaced. And this will all come from the fact that we use our digital society to promote our economy, to promote our entrepreneurs and enterprises. Otherwise, if we suddenly started to be afraid of the future and to complain that all this cyber thing is so dangerous, then we would end up with a net loss of jobs by 0,4% during this period. The same dynamics apply to everybody, a developed or a developing country.</p> <p>When Estonia started to go digital it was not a rich country. On the contrary. Estonia realised that since we were a relatively poor country we had to do things differently. This is a very encouraging sign that you can be innovative at every income level, GDP per capita does not matter. What matters is courage, the ability to cooperate between private and public sector and the states readiness to create a legally permissive environment for investment. Actually the first time we did it was when we created a really good tax system and year later we repeated it when we created a permissive environment for the Estonian Genome Foundation. Estonia and Iceland were the two countries that created such an environment for gene technology development and they managed to get private companies involved. You know what happened then? Other states joined the market. They paid public money to get things done. Let`s make sure that the same thing doesn`t happen with digital innovation.</p> President of the Republic at the Annual Human Rights Conference 2017 2017-12-08T06:49:59Z 2017-12-08T06:49:59Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13831-president-of-the-republic-at-the-annual-human-rights-conference-2017 Kaidi Aher kaidi.aher@vpk.ee <p>I have to say that with Kristina united we stand (Danish ambassador in Estonia, Kristina Miskowiak Beckward) against everybody who says that the United Nations are a big behemoth who spits out faxes by kilometers a day (yes faxes—Estonians, these are the machines that send you paper) and small countries have no chance to even read all that, let alone react to it. We small states have taken this into our own hands and supported by the bigger ones, we've actually managed to bring a change to the UN. The Secretary General of the UN is now promising us a more coherent UN, a reformed UN that is more efficient and effective, therefore easier to handle, also for smaller countries. Actually, it is the same current Secretary General, who came into office by a renewed election procedure. And it was Estonia, strongly supported by Costa Rica and 25 other countries that brought along this change. We actually had a big part in creating a merit based election for the Secretary General post of the United Nations.</p> <p>It was New Zealand who brought climate as a security issue to the Security Council. It was Senegal who brought the lack of clean water as a security issue to the Security Council. It was Lithuania who brought the Ukrainian question to the Security Council. We have now moved to a situation where we will maybe finally have - with the support of the OECD - a UN mission in Ukraine. Hopefully it will be this way that leads to ending the partial occupation of the country.</p> <p>I have to say that with Kristina united we stand (Danish ambassador in Estonia, Kristina Miskowiak Beckward) against everybody who says that the United Nations are a big behemoth who spits out faxes by kilometers a day (yes faxes—Estonians, these are the machines that send you paper) and small countries have no chance to even read all that, let alone react to it. We small states have taken this into our own hands and supported by the bigger ones, we've actually managed to bring a change to the UN. The Secretary General of the UN is now promising us a more coherent UN, a reformed UN that is more efficient and effective, therefore easier to handle, also for smaller countries. Actually, it is the same current Secretary General, who came into office by a renewed election procedure. And it was Estonia, strongly supported by Costa Rica and 25 other countries that brought along this change. We actually had a big part in creating a merit based election for the Secretary General post of the United Nations.</p> <p>It was New Zealand who brought climate as a security issue to the Security Council. It was Senegal who brought the lack of clean water as a security issue to the Security Council. It was Lithuania who brought the Ukrainian question to the Security Council. We have now moved to a situation where we will maybe finally have - with the support of the OECD - a UN mission in Ukraine. Hopefully it will be this way that leads to ending the partial occupation of the country.</p> Welcoming remarks at the Christmas reception to diplomatic corps 2017-12-06T22:00:00Z 2017-12-06T22:00:00Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13806-welcoming-remarks-at-the-christmas-reception-to-diplomatic-corps Mailin Aasmäe mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee <p>Excellencies, dear friends,</p> <p>Glad to see you all here tonight and I hope that today's reception is one of the last firewalls before your Christmas break.</p> <p>Having worked and lived abroad myself, I know very well the feeling many of you have at this time of the year. There is still plenty to do but the thoughts start to get distracted by the warm feeling of either getting home for Christmas or having your family over, spending time together and cherishing what is most important in life. Quite often, we appreciate these occasions even more when serving our countries abroad as you do here in Estonia.</p> <p>Occasions like today are first and foremost festive ones. It is an opportunity to be among friends and partners. An opportunity to thank you all personally for the hard work you have done away from home and quite often from family to further strengthen the relations and cooperation between your countries and Estonia. I personally appreciate it a lot.</p> <p>Christmas and the end of the year comes with traditions. Reflecting how the past year has gone being one of them. 2017 has been yet another extraordinary year when developments in the world did not go often as planned or predicted. And therefore we constantly need to adapt ourselves. The past year has further convinced me that during the unpredictable and turbulent times we live doing things alone does not pay off. It has equally demonstrated that in the 21st century small countries can be bigger than defined by the mere number of square kilometres and punch above their weight.</p> <p>Highlighting something specific is always a tricky thing to do. Nevertheless, I would mention two developments that have made 2017 an exceptional one for Estonia. First, the deployment of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence to Estonia that helps to defend NATO's borders. Thank you all who have made this deployment go smoothly. I promise we will work on it together also in the future that every single soldier feels welcome, feels valued, and feels like they can spend their time usefully in Tapa. We make sure that exercising together with our first infantry brigade is useful for all, and helps NATO to understand better what it means to be able to deter and if necessary, defend its eastern flank. The lessons learned have already added enormously to our common understanding on how eFP's capacity to defend can be further developed.</p> <p>Excellencies, dear friends,</p> <p>Glad to see you all here tonight and I hope that today's reception is one of the last firewalls before your Christmas break.</p> <p>Having worked and lived abroad myself, I know very well the feeling many of you have at this time of the year. There is still plenty to do but the thoughts start to get distracted by the warm feeling of either getting home for Christmas or having your family over, spending time together and cherishing what is most important in life. Quite often, we appreciate these occasions even more when serving our countries abroad as you do here in Estonia.</p> <p>Occasions like today are first and foremost festive ones. It is an opportunity to be among friends and partners. An opportunity to thank you all personally for the hard work you have done away from home and quite often from family to further strengthen the relations and cooperation between your countries and Estonia. I personally appreciate it a lot.</p> <p>Christmas and the end of the year comes with traditions. Reflecting how the past year has gone being one of them. 2017 has been yet another extraordinary year when developments in the world did not go often as planned or predicted. And therefore we constantly need to adapt ourselves. The past year has further convinced me that during the unpredictable and turbulent times we live doing things alone does not pay off. It has equally demonstrated that in the 21st century small countries can be bigger than defined by the mere number of square kilometres and punch above their weight.</p> <p>Highlighting something specific is always a tricky thing to do. Nevertheless, I would mention two developments that have made 2017 an exceptional one for Estonia. First, the deployment of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence to Estonia that helps to defend NATO's borders. Thank you all who have made this deployment go smoothly. I promise we will work on it together also in the future that every single soldier feels welcome, feels valued, and feels like they can spend their time usefully in Tapa. We make sure that exercising together with our first infantry brigade is useful for all, and helps NATO to understand better what it means to be able to deter and if necessary, defend its eastern flank. The lessons learned have already added enormously to our common understanding on how eFP's capacity to defend can be further developed.</p> President of the Republic at the Business Europe Council Meeting in Tallinn 2017-12-01T14:34:42Z 2017-12-01T14:34:42Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13866-president-of-the-republic-at-the-business-europe-council-meeting-in-tallinn Kaidi Aher kaidi.aher@vpk.ee <p>On Brexit, I have to say that the Estonian Presidency is still hopeful that sufficient results will be achieved in the final General Affairs Council of this year. We are holding out hope that these three most important issues can be solved to a certain extent. In the beginning it seemed that the financial settlement is a complicated issue but in the reality, the most difficult issue to settle is the question of the Irish border. If our Irish colleagues and partners say that they are satisfied with what can be agreed still this year, then one of the final decisions of the Estonian Council Presidency could actually be that we might be able to move into the second phase of the negotiations. Estonians are very much hoping that this will happen because we realize that clarity is essential in this situation.</p> <p>I would like to return to something Tiit Kuuli said about Estonia: he mentioned that in Estonia people like me fluctuate relatively freely between the public and private sector. This is a sign that we have a permissive legal environment for people moving and disseminating ideas between private and public sector. This is a big part of our society and also the foundation of the digital Estonia, which you had a chance to see yesterday. I happen to know that the paperless government of Estonia in 2000 was born because the technology expert and adviser at the Prime Minister's office came to the public sector from the private sector and was wondering why digital databases, which were used widely in the private sector, were not at all common in the public sector. The Prime Minister decided that, "let us go paperless as a government", and we did.</p> <p>It was actually astonishing for that adviser—Linnar Viik, and me and all the others – we stood by and observed how people from really good newspapers like the Financial Times and Economist, they stood in awe, and said, "oh my God, here is a government where ministers push buttons". They asked: "Who is helping them to go through the system?" We knew that in the private sector, this had existed for 10 years. You could not imagine a big company's board meeting without some kind of online paper filing system. We noticed that in the public sector this is something that no one has done, and it seemed a competitive advantage.</p> <p>We sold our paperless government internationally very successfully and with no technical innovation, it was quite old-fashioned already for the private sector. It actually earned the money spent on it back in a couple of months, just counting the pages we covered in the international media. This was still important for us. In 2000 Estonia was not a member of EU or NATO and was not so well known. We could have gone the traditional route and bought some ads with a message like "Estonia Positively Transforming". We did not do it. Instead we created a paperless government and got coverage for that. We found it worked very well. This was the beginning of the digital Estonia.</p> <p>On Brexit, I have to say that the Estonian Presidency is still hopeful that sufficient results will be achieved in the final General Affairs Council of this year. We are holding out hope that these three most important issues can be solved to a certain extent. In the beginning it seemed that the financial settlement is a complicated issue but in the reality, the most difficult issue to settle is the question of the Irish border. If our Irish colleagues and partners say that they are satisfied with what can be agreed still this year, then one of the final decisions of the Estonian Council Presidency could actually be that we might be able to move into the second phase of the negotiations. Estonians are very much hoping that this will happen because we realize that clarity is essential in this situation.</p> <p>I would like to return to something Tiit Kuuli said about Estonia: he mentioned that in Estonia people like me fluctuate relatively freely between the public and private sector. This is a sign that we have a permissive legal environment for people moving and disseminating ideas between private and public sector. This is a big part of our society and also the foundation of the digital Estonia, which you had a chance to see yesterday. I happen to know that the paperless government of Estonia in 2000 was born because the technology expert and adviser at the Prime Minister's office came to the public sector from the private sector and was wondering why digital databases, which were used widely in the private sector, were not at all common in the public sector. The Prime Minister decided that, "let us go paperless as a government", and we did.</p> <p>It was actually astonishing for that adviser—Linnar Viik, and me and all the others – we stood by and observed how people from really good newspapers like the Financial Times and Economist, they stood in awe, and said, "oh my God, here is a government where ministers push buttons". They asked: "Who is helping them to go through the system?" We knew that in the private sector, this had existed for 10 years. You could not imagine a big company's board meeting without some kind of online paper filing system. We noticed that in the public sector this is something that no one has done, and it seemed a competitive advantage.</p> <p>We sold our paperless government internationally very successfully and with no technical innovation, it was quite old-fashioned already for the private sector. It actually earned the money spent on it back in a couple of months, just counting the pages we covered in the international media. This was still important for us. In 2000 Estonia was not a member of EU or NATO and was not so well known. We could have gone the traditional route and bought some ads with a message like "Estonia Positively Transforming". We did not do it. Instead we created a paperless government and got coverage for that. We found it worked very well. This was the beginning of the digital Estonia.</p> President of the Republic At the Plenary Meeting of the LVIII COSAC 2017-11-27T12:25:50Z 2017-11-27T12:25:50Z http://admin2.president.ee/index.php/en/official-duties/speeches/13782-president-of-the-republic-at-the-plenary-meeting-of-the-lviii-cosac Mailin Aasmäe mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee <p>Speaker of Riigikogu, Mr Eiki Nestor,</p> <p>Mr Barnier,</p> <p>Mrs Hübner,</p> <p>Your Excellences,</p> <p>Ladies and Gentlemen</p> <p>It is my pleasure to welcome you in Tallinn for the Plenary Meeting of EU's Parliaments EU Committees (COSAC) meeting. This is one of the biggest events of our EU Council Presidency here in Estonia. In slightly more than a month, the active part of the Presidency, first ever has finished. The people who have been engaged with the Presidency both here in Estonia and in Brussels, they can finally relax and enjoy their Christmas holidays. I am very grateful for their hard work. But of course we will remain firm supporters and cheerleaders for the next Presidencies, Bulgaria and Austria our trio partners.</p> <p>184 days to solve all the challenges that Europe faces is not a long time. It is not yet the time to look back to our ongoing Presidency and draw final conclusions. But our overarching aim – breaking the ice of negativity about our Union – seems to be really happening and I am glad about it.</p> <p>The hard work on common security policy approach is finally reaping the results. The digital agenda has focused the minds of policymakers on the fact that important part of our people's and our businesses' activities takes place online and the governments have a certain obligation to facilitate and protect in the cyberspace.</p> <p>Speaker of Riigikogu, Mr Eiki Nestor,</p> <p>Mr Barnier,</p> <p>Mrs Hübner,</p> <p>Your Excellences,</p> <p>Ladies and Gentlemen</p> <p>It is my pleasure to welcome you in Tallinn for the Plenary Meeting of EU's Parliaments EU Committees (COSAC) meeting. This is one of the biggest events of our EU Council Presidency here in Estonia. In slightly more than a month, the active part of the Presidency, first ever has finished. The people who have been engaged with the Presidency both here in Estonia and in Brussels, they can finally relax and enjoy their Christmas holidays. I am very grateful for their hard work. But of course we will remain firm supporters and cheerleaders for the next Presidencies, Bulgaria and Austria our trio partners.</p> <p>184 days to solve all the challenges that Europe faces is not a long time. It is not yet the time to look back to our ongoing Presidency and draw final conclusions. But our overarching aim – breaking the ice of negativity about our Union – seems to be really happening and I am glad about it.</p> <p>The hard work on common security policy approach is finally reaping the results. The digital agenda has focused the minds of policymakers on the fact that important part of our people's and our businesses' activities takes place online and the governments have a certain obligation to facilitate and protect in the cyberspace.</p>