Speeches president http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches Fri, 15 Jun 2018 13:57:04 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb At the Global Leadership Summit in Gothenburg http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14374-at-the-global-leadership-summit-in-gothenburg http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14374-at-the-global-leadership-summit-in-gothenburg First, thank you for inviting me. Estonia and Volvo are perfect partners, because globally you employ close to 100 000 people. Estonia on the other hand has 117 000 people working in industry – everybody else is in services. Therefore, we are a perfect match. However, there are other similarities. Your annual turnover is 5 billions bigger than Estonia’s GDP. So we are actually very well matched.

Estonia is globally the only digitally transformed society that has the full support of its state.

First, I would have to prove to you why I believe that we already have a digitally transformed society.

Up until last year, we thought that we can have a digital environment and if something goes wrong – because as you know in digital it always does, as you are always in Beta versions —there could be a paper alternative. Then last year it went wrong as a lot of digital chips were withdrawn from global market. One billion in fact.

Most of them opened doors in factories, but for us and some other countries it worked as a digital identity. In those other countries, these cards were simply closed down – nothing happened, nobody noticed.

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mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Wed, 13 Jun 2018 22:00:00 +0000
At the WHO Conference „Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity: leaving no one behind" http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14366-at-the-who-conference-health-systems-for-prosperity-and-solidarity-leaving-no-one-behindq http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14366-at-the-who-conference-health-systems-for-prosperity-and-solidarity-leaving-no-one-behindq First of all, it is a privilege to celebrate jointly with you the centennial anniversary of the Estonian Republic this year and also the 10 year anniversary of the Tallinn Charter.

In 2008, 53 countries signed the Tallinn Charter: Health Systems for Health and Wealth. The underlying values in the charter were solidarity, equity and universalism.

Already at that time, the Charter was extremely broad raising the philosophy, which is now deeply rooted in the European societies, that health is a fundamental right of all people.

The Charter described that people´s well-being is at the centre of the triangle of strong and resilient health systems, health and wealth. It is needless to state, that at this time, these values were forward-looking.

Universal health coverage is one thing that makes it tolerable to have income inequality in societies because people know that one of their basic needs is covered. As you may know here in Estonia we have a single payer scheme where patients do not pay. We are very proud of it and we believe that we have a system that is also efficient and effective at the same time inclusive. These are the principles that were raised also in Tallinn Charter. It would be very sad if we arrived here in year 2018 and we would have to say that even if it is the Tallinn Charter we do not respect it. We do, I can assure you.

The Charter did describe that people's wellbeing is at the center of the triangle of a strong and resilient health systems – health and wealth. Of course at that time these values were quite forward looking and world did not yet resemble too much what the Tallinn Charter was stating. I feel it is still relevant today. It does address major health challenges ahead. We have demographic change, widening socioeconomic disparities everywhere, limited resources, technological development which makes of course treatment more expensive and people´s rising expectations towards healthcare systems.

Economic outlooks predict increasing inequalities in income and this does put pressure on everybody's health and social budgets.

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mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Wed, 13 Jun 2018 12:27:12 +0000
President of the Republic on the occasion of the state visit of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to the Republic of Estonia http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14365-president-of-the-republic-on-the-occasion-of-the-state-visit-of-his-majesty-king-willem-alexander-of-the-netherlands-to-the-republic-of-estonia http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14365-president-of-the-republic-on-the-occasion-of-the-state-visit-of-his-majesty-king-willem-alexander-of-the-netherlands-to-the-republic-of-estonia Your Majesty,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to receive Your Majesty in Estonia at the time we are celebrating the centenary of our statehood.

Our diplomatic relations date to 1921, but our historical connections go back as far as the times of the Hanseatic League and Moedernegotie (Mother of all trades), the most important source of income for the Dutch, even before the Gouden Eeuw. It consisted of the trade with countries around the Baltic Sea in goods such as graan (grain) and hout (wood). Goederen (goods) that the Dutch traders were clever enough to invest in. For example, the timber shipped through Narva, the town on the border of the Western and Eastern civilisation, was partly used to build Amsterdam. The good economic and trade relations continue until now with the Netherlands being the third biggest foreign investor. And I am pleased that the traditional trade with grain and wood has expanded to more innovative, digital fields, sometimes combining the two.

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Liis.Lepik@vpk.ee (Liis Lepik) ENG Kõned Tue, 12 Jun 2018 17:49:13 +0000
President of the Republic at the Lennart Meri Conference dinner http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14332--president-of-the-republic-at-the-lennart-meri-conference-dinner- http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14332--president-of-the-republic-at-the-lennart-meri-conference-dinner- Dear organisers, dear participants of the Lennart Meri security conference!

This magnificent week is almost over. It's been a great week for Estonia – a "security Woodstock", as defined by Toomas Hendrik Ilves. And as always with festivals, the best comes last, to keep our attention and make us crave for more. And thank you, Riina, for organizing the Lennart Meri Conference for so many years, and also a happy birthday to you!

As we sit here in Tallinn and discuss cyber- and conventional security matters, the world around us has not stopped. In Ukraine, during the last week alone, four people, including a 15 year old girl, have been killed in shellings, and another 15 people have been wounded. That's not a frozen conflict – that's war. And while we celebrate the centenary of the Georgian Republic, we also have to accept that for ten years – ten years already – we have not been able to do much about the partial occupation of Georgian territories. We carefully tread the words, calling the evil line of occupation in Georgia something else.

When I asked the EU Monitoring Mission in November why exactly we use euphemisms like "Administrative Boundary Line", he could not give me a clear answer. I felt for him, because he had to stick to the agreed vocabulary. He noted that Georgians, though, call it "an occupation line". Why don't we give Georgians at least that little – recognition that part of its territory is occupied, in our every word and gesture? Calling an occupation occupation is something which our political predecessors did not hesitate to do – to the final little detail.

We heard today at the conference my Austrian colleague, doctor Alexander Van der Bellen, who had an Estonian passport until he was 15 years old – only then did he realise that his passport was given out by a country that at that moment was not free. But, that passport was recognized.

Similarly, some two months ago, I had a chance to board a brand new military transport plane of our eFP framework nation, the United Kingdom. The plane had hardly done a few rounds around the globe. Everything was 21st century, apart from some old-fashioned paper-maps that were probably there only for back-up. So the maps were old. Very old, from the Cold War era.

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Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee (Anne-Pille Krigolson) ENG Kõned Thu, 31 May 2018 22:00:00 +0000
President Kaljulaid at the opening of CyCon http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14325-president-kaljulaid-at-the-opening-of-cycon http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14325-president-kaljulaid-at-the-opening-of-cycon Ladies and gentlemen, dear guests!

Welcome to Tallinn for CyCon. I am very happy to speak here. And am also a little bit nervous as the whole legacy comes from Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former President of Estonia, who has made possible for the whole world to understand that this Woodstock-kind of place for cyber is here in Tallinn. Please, let's give a round of applause to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves! Estonia have been strong in the digital world, and Estonians understand better the risks related to digital. This has been indeed largely President Ilves's doing, and the promotion work for Estonia he has been doing for over 15 years, is incredible and I am forever grateful to President Ilves for what he has undertaken and still does undertake.

I also thank thank Merle for this introduction and for organizing this conference. And since the focus of the 10th CyCon is about maximising effects, then I would like to point out the most important take-aways and lessons-learned from these developments that could really be used to do exactly that – to maximise effects in order to keep our societies and citizens safe.

What has changed globally since the last year's conference, is mainly the awareness. I think that the awareness levels on cyber related risks are today much higher than a year ago. Yes, cyber risks and cyber attacks, the attributions that have been made, are all things that were openly talked about, but the last year has brought cyber risks close to normal people. People have started to understand, that a new set of natural laws, if you wish, have been created by evolvement of the technology sphere. People normally know that if you jump out of the window then you fall down. But for some reason people didn't realise that if you are out in the internet then you are visible. Now they understand this much better. And of course, numerous efforts have been made to make companies and governments responsible for keeping their people safe in the cyber sphere, but that alone is not enough. Therefor it must come down to individual action and individual level of cyber hygiene. How you must choose what is visible about you, and how you must also understand that some parts of you, your character, your interests will remain visible in the internet. People just have to learn these new natural laws of the tech sphere. And this is also a great opportunity for all of you who deal daily with cyber risks, because now all of a sudden everybody's is really eager to learn. Now it is your time to make sure that the general benefits from your work will be maximized for the whole society.]]> kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Wed, 30 May 2018 10:30:10 +0000 President Kersti Kaljulaid on the occasion of the official visit of the Royal Highnesses, Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit to the Republic of Estonia 25 April 2018 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14265-president-kersti-kaljulaid-on-the-occasion-of-the-official-visit-of-the-royal-highnesses-prince-haakon-and-crown-princess-mette-marit-to-the-republic-of-estonia-25-april-2018 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14265-president-kersti-kaljulaid-on-the-occasion-of-the-official-visit-of-the-royal-highnesses-prince-haakon-and-crown-princess-mette-marit-to-the-republic-of-estonia-25-april-2018 Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Hjertelig velkommen til Tallinn.

Your visit takes place in an important year as we are celebrating the centenary of Estonian independence. This would not be possible without our good friends and allies like Norway.

Defending freedom is a core value for both Norwegians and Estonians – freedom of our nations, but also our individual freedoms.

Both of our countries know what it means to lose your independence and to regain it. We also know that we need to protect the freedom of our friends with similar values. I am thinking about the Estonian volunteers that came to defend Norway in 1940. They sang both Norwegian and Estonian National anthems while swearing their oaths in Alta church. It was in Narvik, where the first Estonian lost his life in the Second World War. Only a few months later Estonia lost its independence.

Norway never recognised the illegal annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union. You allowed Estonian honorary consuls in Oslo and Trondheim to continue their work. You also did let us to declare the Estonian government in exile in 1953 in Oslo when such political activity was not allowed in many other countries. We are grateful for your support at these difficult times.

In early nineties, me and my friends went to see these historic places for our military history. The wonderful Alta canion offered us much more than lessons of history. It offered beautiful nature, wonderful views and many mushrooms and berries, by the way. However, Alta was also a site of civic debate about the environment, preservation of the nature versus renewable energy production.

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Katrin.Sirel@vpk.ee (Katrin Sirel) ENG Kõned Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:06:53 +0000
Address of the President of the Republic at the charity dinner of the Carolin Illenzeer Fund at the Tallinn Creative Hub http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14233-address-of-the-president-of-the-republic-at-the-charity-dinner-of-the-carolin-illenzeer-fund-at-the-tallinn-creative-hub- http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14233-address-of-the-president-of-the-republic-at-the-charity-dinner-of-the-carolin-illenzeer-fund-at-the-tallinn-creative-hub- Esteemed President of the Riigikogu, Commander of the Defence Forces, dear friends,

Two weeks ago the former Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, General Aleksander Einseln, reached his final resting place. He was the first commander of the Defence Forces following the restoration of Estonia's independence, to the Americans he was Colonel Einseln. He taught us defence diplomacy; he taught us that on the modern battlefield just one country – no country in the world, for that matter – will be able to call all the shots. He also taught us that defence diplomacy can only succeed, when words are backed up by deeds. Estonia's words are backed up by deeds. That is why we have been successful and are able to carry on today, in the particularly tense atmosphere that prevails currently.

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mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Wed, 11 Apr 2018 22:00:00 +0000
President of the Republic at the Tallinn Music Week Creative Impact Conference 2018 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14224-president-of-the-republic-at-the-tallinn-music-week-creative-impact-conference-2018 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14224-president-of-the-republic-at-the-tallinn-music-week-creative-impact-conference-2018 It is wonderful to see so many friends of music, arts and ideas. First of all welcome, welcome to Tallinn!

Back in time and thousands of miles away, in southwest of Tennessee, 50 years ago this week, this was where Martin Luther King Jr. held his last and one of the most powerful speeches.

There was a huge thunderstorm outside when he took the stage that night in Memphis, amid the black garbage workers' strike over unjust working conditions. It was there when he said what is now quoted on his memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, right up where you see it immediately. The one which reminds us that the choice for mankind was – and still is – not between violence and nonviolence, but between nonviolence and nonexistence.

Next day he was assassinated on the balcony of a motel, his last words being the ones said to a musician whom he asked to play a gospel hymn in the meeting later that night: "Play it real pretty!"

We all know Memphis as the birthplace of rock'n'roll and soul, both important not only as music styles, but as agents of change.

For us, who we can eat our lunch wherever we want to, it may be difficult to imagine all the dehumanizing intimidation that people then faced. It is not so long ago at all. All these separate drinking fountains, entrances to the movie theatres, or zoos where black people were allowed to go only when they cleaned the cages.

Just think what an effort – and therefore how much more impressive – it was to respond to all of this with... love.]]> kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:25:37 +0000 President Kersti Kaljulaid at Chatham House in London http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14261-president-kersti-kaljulaid-at-chatham-house-in-london http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14261-president-kersti-kaljulaid-at-chatham-house-in-london Thank you for these kind words about me, myself and Estonia.

Indeed, digital is not the first big wave of legally permissive environment creation, which has brought investment to our country. I would think the first one was actually in the early 1990s when our cost levels were everyone's dream and you could easily attract money to your country by having a much easier tax system. We did it and later it was copied a lot. The next time, was indeed digital, but not only digital. At the turn of the century we created a permissive environment for population-level genome investigations, and now we are able (with the cost of hopefully not more than 25 euros per capita) to provide quite soon for 10% of our population information on how easy it is for them to get diabetes type 2 and other common genetically hereditary diseases. This demonstrates that if you do not have money but you want to provide your people with services, there is a way to do it, and this is to create a digitally permissive environment. Right now, we are indeed already thinking about how to regulate artificial intelligence.  Even if we know that we are very far from creating artificial intelligence, probably further away than Elon Musk is thinking, we do have lots of automated systems and regulating for one will also cover the other, the liability issues, etc. So we are thinking of how to make sure that this wave of technology will not pass Estonia by. For example, our Traffic Code can regulate for a situation of a car and a robot having an accident, and we have already had such an accident with a package delivery robot and a car. The car driver was found guilty. It shows you that it is more general. It is not just that we happened on a digital gold mine, we do it systematically in Estonia.

Seventeen years ago, we wanted to provide our people with digital services like Industry 4.0. We thought that if we would automatize processes and remove people from the chain of providing the services and delivering goods, then we could afford more, with our small workforce in the public sector and low tax burden of the GDP, which has never exceeded 35%. At the same time, we have a population that is looking toward Scandinavia for public services to be at a good level. Now all of our people count on online as a part of everyday life. Last year we had a hiccup because of a technology provider, some people had to go to a government office to restart their digital identities, and we almost had a riot. People had to wait for an hour at a government office, shock and horror. This is when we realized that societal disruption is complete. We have digitally disrupted the society. It is not any more "digital with if needed paper alternative", it is now "digital, which needs digital alternatives". Luckily, we had several ways of digital identification so we could continue with digital Estonia.

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kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Tue, 27 Mar 2018 08:57:04 +0000
President of the Republic at the 5th Annual Tallinn Conference on the Eastern Partnership http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14165-president-of-the-republic-at-the-5th-annual-tallinn-conference-on-the-eastern-partnership http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14165-president-of-the-republic-at-the-5th-annual-tallinn-conference-on-the-eastern-partnership Welcome to wintery Tallinn just a week after Estonia celebrated its 100th Independence Day. The celebrations here in Estonia will continue all year around but this does not mean that we wouldn't be working this year. Our EU Council Presidency turned a lot of attention to Eastern Partnership. I remember talking to your business community, your civil society and a very lively press conference with many interesting questions in Brussels on the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit. It is now time to take this momentum forward and continue with these topics. Estonia will continue to support Eastern Partners and to make sure that the bus will not drive away and we will try to help all Eastern Partnership countries to achieve your objectives of state building and economic development. We know ourselves how difficult these kind of reforms can be. And I would also like to congratulate the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership on their fifth anniversary and thank them for organizing this conference.

Summits are important political landmarks. They enable us to take stock of what has been achieved and also to set new benchmarks. And sometimes summits can still be counted successful even if they only manage to hold on to the status quo or if only smaller practical steps are being taken. I believe that the last Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels was of this category. We didn't slide back, we understood that the isn't great enthusiasm or very much understanding on where the Eastern Partnership is going. Yet we managed to get concrete results and concrete small steps. And we managed to have a declaration that satisfied all concerned parties.

Now it is time to move forward. I noticed that as EU is talking about projecting its values beyond its borders, it is again also talking about new areas of cooperation with countries who are close to the EU, but not ready to join yet. As Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations has said, "We need to be ambitious, but also realistic and credible".

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Liis.Lepik@vpk.ee (Liis Lepik) ENG Kõned Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:45:24 +0000