Speeches president http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches Sat, 24 Mar 2018 09:07:42 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 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 Vice-Prime Minister Klympush-Tsintsade,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Special Envoys and Coordinators,
Ladies and gentlemen,

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.

Liis.Lepik@vpk.ee (Liis Lepik) ENG Kõned Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:45:24 +0000
Opening speech in the honour of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia at the Latvian National Opera House http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14162-opening-speech-in-the-honour-of-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-republic-of-estonia-at-the-latvian-national-opera-house http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14162-opening-speech-in-the-honour-of-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-republic-of-estonia-at-the-latvian-national-opera-house President Vejonis,

Prime Ministers Kučinskis and Ratas

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear neighbour(s) and friend(s),

Latvian film director Daira Abolina has said that Latvians and Estonians are like half-brothers. Our sense of humour, temperament and languages are different. But at the same time, we share traditions, values and history.

Last Saturday we celebrated the centenary of independent Estonia in Tartu, which is by the way, one of the most popular travel destination for Latvians visiting Estonia. Only 3 days later, we are celebrating our 100th Independence Day here in Riga. Thinking of Latvian folklore then this seems to be surprisingly fast for Estonians.

mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Mon, 26 Feb 2018 22:00:00 +0000
The President of the Republic at the Republic of Estonia Independence Day Celebration at the Estonian National Museum http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14154-the-president-of-the-republic-at-the-estonian-national-museum http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14154-the-president-of-the-republic-at-the-estonian-national-museum "On the anniversary of our Fatherland, I would like to extend to all of you my sincerest congratulations. This day unites us in joy and worry, in work and hardship. On behalf of the people, I would like to assure you that Estonia is grateful that, on this most important of days, we are joined in our celebrations by all our neighbours; by all of the Nordic countries, especially Finland; by the Member States of the European Union, by the Members of the Atlantic Alliance and by our political partners."

That was how President Lennart Meri started his speech when celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. And I am sincerely happy to point out that we still have all of that –the difference being that we are now perfectly equal to all of the abovementioned.

Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee (Anne-Pille Krigolson) ENG Kõned Sat, 24 Feb 2018 10:51:35 +0000
President of the Republic at the Ceremony for Awarding Decorations http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14133-president-of-the-republic-at-the-ceremony-for-awarding-decorations http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14133-president-of-the-republic-at-the-ceremony-for-awarding-decorations

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."

The concluding words of Meri's address were borrowed from August Ots, a pre-war parish elder from Saaremaa: "A man must work so hard that he does not need to cut his fingernails."

Since then a new generation has been born: the children of 25 years ago are now in this hall. The youth of the 1990s have reached a mature middle age. And our grateful thoughts are with the older generation, the one referred to by President Meri, with those who are still with us today and with those who have passed on.

One Generation of Work.

You, the people who have gathered here today, are a beautiful embodiment of this work and of its fruit. All of you have built Estonia like you would build a home – whether your tool is a compass or a plane, art or music. This is work well done, because you have put your heart and soul into it. It does not matter if you did what you did in return for a salary or during your free time in the evenings and at weekends. Thanks to your work there are more friends, more knowledge, more security, more memories in this home. And this is how it should be in a proper home. Compared with the time 25 years ago there is definitely more bread, but not less idealism.

Elke.Rimpel@vpk.ee (Elke Rimpel) ENG Kõned Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:40:38 +0000
Keynote speech by the President of Estonia at MSC side event “NATO’s Challenges on the Eastern Flank: Enhancing Forward Presence and Maintaining Cohesion“ http://www.president.ee/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 http://www.president.ee/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 Dear Ambassador Ischinger, Minister Schmidt, Admiral Nielson,
Ladies and gentlemen

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.

What has been done

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.

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.

Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee (Anne-Pille Krigolson) ENG Kõned Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:00:33 +0000
New Year’s greeting from the President of the Republic on Freedom Square http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13868-new-years-greeting-from-the-president-of-the-republic-on-freedom-square-31-december-2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13868-new-years-greeting-from-the-president-of-the-republic-on-freedom-square-31-december-2017 My dear Estonian nation,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anne.Krigolson@vpk.ee (Anne-Pille Krigolson) ENG Kõned Sun, 31 Dec 2017 19:39:42 +0000
Speeches given during Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14116-speeches-given-during-estonian-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/14116-speeches-given-during-estonian-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu Here you can find the speeches given by President Kaljulaid during Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


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
"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."

President of the Republic at the Tallinn e-Governance Conference on 30 May 2017
"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."

President of the Republic at the Opening of EuroDIG 6 June
"We do not have to see freedom and security as mutually exclusive: indeed secure online interactions are a precondition for enjoying full Internet freedom."

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
"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."

President of the Republic at the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2017 – European Defence Cooperation: Out of the Shadows? September 6
"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."

President of the Republic at the Young EUROSAI (YES) Conference September 12
"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."

President of the Republic at the "Future of Work: Making It e-Easy" 13 September
"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."

President of the Republic at the award ceremony of EUCYS 2017 26 September
"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."

President Kaljulaid at the Tallinn Digital Summit 29 September
"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."

President Kaljulaid at the conference: Soil for sustainable food production and ecosystem services 5 October

"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?"

Closing keynote by the President of the Republic at "Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health" 18 October
"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."

President Kaljulaid at the Manufuture 2017 Conference in Tallinn 24 October
"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."


At the Digital Transport Days 2017 in Tallinn 11 November
"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."

President of the Republic At the Plenary Meeting of the LVIII COSAC 27 November in Tallinn
"Better respect for the principles of subsidiarity will create in itself much space for solidarity in our budget."

President of the Republic at the Business Europe Council Meeting in Tallinn 1 December
"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."

mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Sat, 30 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000
Welcome remarks at the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Estonian and Latvian accession to the Schengen area http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13854--welcome-remarks-at-the-commemoration-of-the-10th-anniversary-of-estonian-and-latvian-accession-to-the-schengen-area http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13854--welcome-remarks-at-the-commemoration-of-the-10th-anniversary-of-estonian-and-latvian-accession-to-the-schengen-area Honourable President Vējonis,

ladies and gentlemen.

police and border guard members,

the good residents of Valga and Valka,

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.

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.

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.

mailin.aasmae@vpk.ee (Mailin Aasmäe) ENG Kõned Wed, 20 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000
President of the Republic at sTARTUp Day 2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13807-president-of-the-republic-at-startup-day-2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13807-president-of-the-republic-at-startup-day-2017 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

mattias.tammet@vpk.ee (Mattias Tammet) ENG Kõned Fri, 08 Dec 2017 10:42:13 +0000
President of the Republic at the Annual Human Rights Conference 2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13831-president-of-the-republic-at-the-annual-human-rights-conference-2017 http://www.president.ee/en/official-duties/speeches/13831-president-of-the-republic-at-the-annual-human-rights-conference-2017 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.

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.

kaidi.aher@vpk.ee (Kaidi Aher) ENG Kõned Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:49:59 +0000