Speeches president http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:31:12 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb At the Digital Transport Days 2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13744-at-the-digital-transport-days-2017- http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13744-at-the-digital-transport-days-2017- Dear distinguished guests and participants of this conference.

I really would like to offer you a belated welcome to Tallinn at the Digital Transport Days. I want to thank the organizers from the European Commission and organizers from the Estonian Presidency team for making this important event happen. As you know, the digital agenda is very close to our hearts in Estonia. Therefore I am extremely glad to welcome you all here.

In Estonia, we have already gone through a societal disruption to make sure our citizens and our businesses have a totally digital environment to deal with both the State and with their private partners. I hope you understand that we will also be at the forefront of digital transport solutions. It cannot be otherwise. Digital transport will definitely be a part of digital society, and it is of course easier to have a transport partner already in digital society than creating everything at one step, so I think we are one step ahead and challenge more to catch up.

The movement and connectivity of people is the core of today's society. It is clear that the future transport systems need to meet society's economic, social and environmental needs, while minimising their undesirable impacts, mainly related to pollution and accidents.

During Commissioner Violeta Bulc's last visit to Tallinn, she brought to our attention a sad fact that every day in Europe, we lose 70 people in traffic incidents and 350 more are seriously injured. In transport, we create 24% of the pollution. An average person spends a horrible 6 weeks every year in traffic. Part of it is unavoidable, but can be made shorter and smoother by clever congestion management. Part of it is totally unnecessary already by Estonian standard, like driving some place to register the birth of your child, signing a document, applying for kindergarten place. The first, like the latter, will ultimately depend on online solutions.

Therefore, I welcome all discussions that highlight the importance of the future technology and innovation in transport.

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mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Thu, 09 Nov 2017 22:00:00 +0000
Public lecture at the Akaki Tsereteli University, Kutaisi http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13695-president-of-the-republic-public-lecture-at-the-akaki-tsereteli-university-kutaisi http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13695-president-of-the-republic-public-lecture-at-the-akaki-tsereteli-university-kutaisi Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

To start with, I would like to convey my appreciation for the possibility to speak to this audience today, at the last day of my State Visit to Georgia. I firmly believe that in addition to the official meetings, tête-à-tête talks, press points and interviews, it is equally important to reach out to the wider public as well. It is an honour to be in the Akaki Tseretli University in Kutaisi.

In the former capital city of United Georgia. In the city that holds a distinguished place in Georgia with is cultural, educational and business traditions.

Kutaisi and Estonia are geographically far from each other but we are closer than many would imagine. Your hometown has good relations with our university town Tartu. I was for 5 years Chairman of the Board for Tartu University, that's why I know - Estonia and Tartu were very much valued in Georgia almost 200 years ago.

Prince and poet Grigol Orbeliani suggested in 1830s to his nephew, the great Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili to study in the University of Tartu that was well known for its free spirit and good education.

This free spirit was back then seen as something contemporary and forward-looking. Tartu was well known for it then and Estonia today. So the link is there. It is spiritual and future orientated.

I am pleased that the audience in front of me is comprised mostly of young people as the future of your country is in your hands. Majority of you have been born after Georgia regained its independence. You have grown up in a society that has had tough and turbulent times. Nevertheless, you are lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity to grow up and to be educated in a free country and democratic society.

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mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:44:19 +0000
President Kaljulaid at the dinner in the honour of the state visit to Georgia http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13692-president-kaljulaid-at-the-dinner-in-the-honour-of-the-state-visit-to-georgia http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13692-president-kaljulaid-at-the-dinner-in-the-honour-of-the-state-visit-to-georgia Respected President Giorgi Margvelashvili,

Honourable Mrs Maka Chichua,

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen!

A state visit is the most formal form of relations between two countries and is used to validate our close relations. It is quite remarkable that this visit is taking place now, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Georgia and Estonia. This represents a quarter of a century of uninterrupted friendship and co-operation.

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eve.salumaa@vpk.ee (Eve Salumaa) ENG Kõned Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:31:38 +0000
President of the Republic at the 4th Eastern Partnership Business Forum http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13679-president-of-the-republic-at-the-4th-eastern-partnership-business-forum http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13679-president-of-the-republic-at-the-4th-eastern-partnership-business-forum We a so proud to have you here on the first winterday!

The Eastern Partnership is an extremely important instrument in relations between the European Union and the partner countries.

All the Baltic states, formerly occupied by Soviet Union, have kept our Eastern partners close to our hearts and always in our minds. We have not and will not let the fate of Eastern Partnership countries fall off the European Union table.

We feel responsible. Vilnius and Riga organised Eastern Partnership Summits, Tallinn has decided to hold one in Brussels. It is symbolic – Eastern Partnership is an European Union issue, not an issue for Eastern Europe. It is a central element of European Union neighbourhood policy.

Yes, we feel responsible. Responsible not to shut the door of the bus and drive off to the better future. Responsible to keep the discussion about unifying Europe alive. Responsible for seeking alternatives if enlargement is not an option.

But – there are several issues for which we cannot take responsibility. Eastern Partnership countries themselves and only themselves are responsible for the development of their societies. Responsible for the rule of law in their countries. Responsible for the economic environment in their countries, including level playing feel for home and foreign capital, lack of corruption, comprehensible and stable tax regimes. Responsible for developing democratic values.

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kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Thu, 26 Oct 2017 06:38:22 +0000
President of the Republic at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13674-president-of-the-republic-at-the-eastern-partnership-civil-society-conference http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13674-president-of-the-republic-at-the-eastern-partnership-civil-society-conference Dear representatives of civil society, dear government reps who care about the co-operation between civil society and government.

You are all welcome to Tallinn, to Estonia, where we hope to make our society seamless, with public, non-governmental and social entrepreneurial sector working together to the benefit of our people.

We have recognised here that even if looking from behind the iron curtain or looking with freshman eyes on developed western societies, the system of citizens simply paying taxes and governments taking all the responsibility for all the processes, all the people and all the communities – it looks attractive. But in real life, in mid-term, not to even mention long-term, this is not sustainable.

Sustainable is co-operation. Working together, binding the actors of civil society together with the government actors. It serves our people better – civil society will not make an effort unless there is a real need in the society so it is a perfect signal for the government to act if civil society is interested. Civil society will not continue providing the same service for 30 years, if it is not any more necessary. Civil society reacts in a timely manner, and to the exact problems we are encountering.

Thus, supporting civil society by governmental actors simply serves our people best. It helps to provide services just on time and just the right type of services. And by services I mean very wide spectrum of actions which civil society is willing to undertake.]]> kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:23:05 +0000 President Kaljulaid at the Manufuture 2017 Conference in Tallinn http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13731-president-kaljulaid-at-the-manufuture-2017-conference-in-tallinn http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13731-president-kaljulaid-at-the-manufuture-2017-conference-in-tallinn What other see as efficiency gains, the others may see as job losses, so obviously there are many elements, which we need to consider when we are talking about „moving up the value chain".

Your conference has a history since 2003. The first Manufuture conference took place in 2003 in Milan. This event became a good tradition of gathering every second autumn in a country holding the presidency of the EU and discussing European manufacturing of the future with entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and politicians.

As you saw from the introduction, you are in a country, which is a starry-eyed fearlessly future-looking first-time EU Council presidency. It is indeed the first time for Estonia to be in this spot and we are really enjoying this position, trying to irritate people with the discussion about the future. It is so close to us but sometimes we still fail to recognize how close it already is.

In Tallinn, you are discussing the 4.0 industrial revolution and how to make European nations more productive and competitive in our digital age. As President of Estonia, I proudly represent a digital society, which actually has a supportive state behind it. Yes, we here have already gone through a societal disruption to make sure that our citizens and businesses have a completely digital environment with the state and private partners. This means that when enterprises try to move up the value chain by going digital they only need to join the dots, since outside of their own production chain the environment is already completely digital.

When you are talking to the Estonian state, you never do it on paper. When you are signing documents with your partners or contractors in this country, paper does not come into play. You do not necessarily have to go somewhere. Obviously, we still have business lunches with our partners and friends but still, you do not need to move. The environment surrounding you and your developments is digital.

For seventeen years, Estonians have been using digital signatures to sign contracts and apply for public services, pay taxes and make requests to our government. What does this mean? That means that by having a digital signature they are protected in the internet, as they are able to identify each other safely. While using technology you all know that safety is all-important. Our government provides our people this safety in cybersphere because we have a passport function, which operates in cybersphere.

For some reason it has taken most other governments too long to recognize that safe identification, a passport, is also necessary in the digital era in the internet to allow people to communicate and transact safely.

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kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:13:00 +0000
President of the Republic at the Futureforum Espoo http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13666-president-of-the-republic-at-the-futureforum-espoo http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13666-president-of-the-republic-at-the-futureforum-espoo Dear ladies and gentlemen,

We have gone through a societal disruption to make sure our citizens and businesses have a digital environment both in their dealings with the state and with their private partners. By the way, at no point during this process has Estonia created any cutting-edge technology. Tech-wise, all we use in our digital society is well tried and tested globally by other actors, mostly private. Which makes it cheaper and more reliable. Part of it is even open sources, namely our e-voting system, so all and sundry can try to hack it if they can – but they have not managed in the past 7 or almost 8 years' time.

The disruptive innovation of Estonians is thus not at all technology,

the innovation lies elsewhere – in the process of bringing businesses and government together to help all people, young and old, so that they could benefit from the digital service options. It is now 17 years - almost a generation- that Estonians have a digital ID and can use this to sign and time stamp their documents, including private contracts. They can also apply for different public services, pay fines and taxes online, query registries, change their service packages and simply send encrypted e-mails.

It took some special effort to get all people in all generations to use it,

but through patient coaching plans (which we called Tiger leap) this was achieved also for older generation. They soon realised the advantages of taking to the PC instead of taking the bus in order to communicate with, say, their pension's office. Even if the computer was not at first on everyone's desk, more often in village library or at school, it was still remarkably closer than any office. As you know, Estonia has a big territory with a small population. So offices are a few between.]]> kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:52:17 +0000 Closing keynote by the President of the Republic at “Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health.” http://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 http://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 Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished participants of the concluding session of eHealth conference!

First, I sincerely congratulate you for these three days of wise discussions, inspiring exhibition and fruitful meetings about health in the digital society. It is of utmost importance to understand what digital society can offer to improve well-being of people in Europe and beyond.

Indeed, one may ask, what will change now, after this conference in the life of a 60-year-old lady in Tartu, Southern Estonia or somebody else, let's say, man in Rouen, France? Perhaps what they both expect from life is to enjoy it happily and healthily. As WHO has phrased it in the Preamble to its Constitution 71 years ago – people do expect a physical, mental and social well-being. It is no different in digital society. Human dignity comes before digital.

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Liis.Lepik@vpk.ee (Liis Lepik) ENG Kõned Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:00:00 +0000
President of the Republic at the Aftenposten's Technology Conference http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13671-president-of-the-republic-at-the-aftenpostens-technology-conference http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13671-president-of-the-republic-at-the-aftenpostens-technology-conference People do not necessarily see tax reforms, social security reforms and pension reforms as digital, but indeed, there is a digital element. Estonians were travelling around Europe, notably most in Nordic countries, and they were demanding similar level of services from their state. Of course, we could not provide it by traditional means and therefore we started to look at different options.

First thing we did, we took papers away on government level. I was advising the Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar at that time. We also had a digital advisor. That move actually was nothing special. If you think, then at the turn of the century, every private company already had some digital document management system. We were actually very astonished that removing papers from the government meeting created international attention. If we count the articles, which were written about the paperless government it paid back the price of the advertisements of "Estonia is positively transforming, please come, and visit our country!" I think it took about three months to earn back all the money we had spent. In addition, it was nothing special. The technology was well known and often used. By the way, it still applies that the technology that Estonia is currently using is not cutting edge. Estonian digital society runs on very basic and therefore also tried, tested and reliable technology. It is also true in the normal analogue world – it is the washing machine, which transformed the society not sending a rocket to the moon. In fact, our digital society is very similar.

In Estonia, we have entered the digital world step by step, kind of at the same time. This is important because we did not do it alone from the government side –we did it together with our private sector. I remember the discussions in the Estonian government and it was a three party coalition where not everybody was sure that we would need to do this. We planned to sneak digital identity on everybody's ID-card, so that everybody would have one. Whether they would use them or not was initially not so important. However, there was this exclusive opportunity for everybody to use it if they chose to. It is still like that today – it is possible to use paper but nobody wants to – there is no obligation to use digital government services. However, people are normally quite lazy so they do use digital services if they can avoid visiting government offices. However, those who want to, can do so.

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kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:39:02 +0000
President of the Republic Public lecture at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs "Security in the Baltic Sea region – an Estonian perspective" http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13654-president-of-the-republic-public-lecture-at-the-norwegian-institute-of-international-affairs-qsecurity-in-the-baltic-sea-region-an-estonian-perspectiveq http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13654-president-of-the-republic-public-lecture-at-the-norwegian-institute-of-international-affairs-qsecurity-in-the-baltic-sea-region-an-estonian-perspectiveq Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen!

First of all I would like to thank the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs for organizing and hosting this public lecture. I do believe that in addition to all the official meetings and tête-à-tête talks that I always have on my visits, it is equally important for me to have opportunities to forward Estonian views also to wider audiences. And I hope to use this lecture to give a wider overview on how Estonia sees the current security situation and challenges in the Baltic Sea region. And what has been – and for that matter still is – the general Estonian approach to national security.

The conceptual choices that Estonia made in the early 1990's in establishing the main principles of Estonian security policy are largely a reflection of the disaster that struck Estonia during the Second World War.

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Liis.Lepik@vpk.ee (Liis Lepik) ENG Kõned Sun, 15 Oct 2017 22:00:00 +0000