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Tag: Estonia

What to watch in Estonia’s upcoming local elections

The 2021 Estonian local elections will be unprecedentedly fractured and may portend major changes to the small northern European nation’s electorate. Despite the rhetoric, most campaigns seek to address everyday concerns.

October 15, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

Lennart Meri. Statesman and prophet

Estonia is today a secure and prosperous European country also thanks to the legacy of Lennart Meri who passed away 15 years ago. As president, Meri successfully punched above Estonia’s weight and put his beloved state on the fast track of reform after regaining independence. His testament is being fulfilled today as his country is a successful member of NATO, the EU and the United Nations.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Lennart Meri’s death, the first President of the again independent Estonia – a great statesman, visionary and patriot, who successfully led Estonia through the first decade of regained independence at the end of the 20th century. To this day he is remembered as a leading European politician who contributed not only to the independence and territorial sovereignty of Estonia, but also to the security of the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland. According to a 2018 survey, Meri was listed as “best-loved Head of State” by almost two-thirds of Estonians among all demographic groups.

June 23, 2021 - Grzegorz Kozłowski

A leaked phone call reveals the potential partnership Israel and Estonia could establish

The ‘start-up nation’ and ‘e-Estonia’ have much in common when it comes to digital innovation, cybersecurity and their identities.

June 18, 2021 - Daniel Frishtik

The Baltic states. Three peas in a pod?

The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are often together associated as a bloc, with a similar history, culture and politics. While there are some commonalities among the three countries, there are also some key characteristics that make them quite different from each other.

From the outside, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are usually viewed as one – “the Baltics”. However, their fates have only been intertwined during the last century. Prior to the end of the First World War, Lithuania had been closely connected with Poland, while Estonians and Latvians had been under Baltic German domination for seven centuries, no matter whether the ruling power was Sweden, Poland or Russia. Lithuanian and Latvian are the two surviving Baltic languages, whereas Estonian belongs to a completely different language family, together with Finnish and Hungarian.

April 11, 2021 - Andres Kasekamp

Russians in Estonia. We are not “them”, we are “us”

Access to good education, healthcare, social welfare and general public services has all contributed to the often difficult process of better integrating mostly older generations of Russian-speakers into Estonian society. The relative ease of conducting everyday life, the security of state support and the prospect of a European future for their children have bound Russians with Estonia over the last three decades.

Estonia’s Russian-speaking community became irritated by a recent speech of the Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid, on Estonia’s Independence Day on February 24th, where she emphatically called on fellow citizens “with a different cultural and linguistic background” to understand “(us), Estonians”. The way she chose to address Russian-speakers and other non-ethnic Estonians living in the country – paraphrased as “you, who are different, need to understand us, Estonians” – signifies the lack of understanding in the president’s office of the sensitivities of “the Russian question” from the perspective of Russian-speakers.

April 11, 2021 - Kristina Kallas

How far right politics derailed Estonian higher education success

Estonia’s success story in education recently made a U-turn. In less than two years, a grand coalition of populist parties have affected Estonia’s international reputation and diplomatic relations, exerted pressure on civil society and the media, contributed to social polarisation, and undermined human rights. The coalition collapsed in January, but not before some serious damage was caused.

In recent years Estonia, an innovative e-state with a population of only 1.3 million, attracted much attention of world leaders, academics and venture capitalists thanks to its high-tech digital society and high performance in education. Fundamental reforms of the Soviet educational system took off in the early years of Estonian independence.

April 11, 2021 - Anastasiia Starchenko

The case of Tallinn’s Telliskivi Loomelinnak and the ‘Belarus. Protest. Art.’ exhibition

How the former Kalinin factory became a creative space to raise awareness for Belarus’s internal crisis and its artists who were forced to flee.

March 29, 2021 - Antonio Scancariello

Image of ‘digital Baltics’ cracks under weight of pandemic

Despite being lauded as a digital posterchild, Estonia’s e-governance fell short during the COVID-19 crisis. Its Baltic neighbours, Latvia and Lithuania, fared no better.

March 11, 2021 - Keegan McBride

What Ratas’ removal means for Estonia

The resignation of Prime Minister Ratas and his government comes after accusations of corruption within the Centre Party. Politics in Estonia is entering a phase rarely seen before in its modern history.

January 26, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

E-voting: securing the franchise Estonian-style

Could e-voting be the answer to the challenges brought on by the pandemic and foreign interference in elections? Estonia with its approach to digital solutions could provide a useful blueprint.

July 1, 2020 - Samuel Kramer

The rise, death and rebirth of Eesti 200

The remarkable story of Estonia 200 gives hope to similar political initiatives in the region. Reaching out to the country's increasingly alienated Russophone community, the party showed maturity and pragmatism.

March 13, 2020 - Samuel Kramer

Estonian Russian. If or when?

The Russian language is the only 'big language' in the world to remain so closely connected to its parent nation-state, Russia. Despite the fact that it is used so widely across the post-Soviet sphere, there are no official country-specific varieties of the Russian language. This kind of ethnolinguistic nationalism is yet another mode by which Moscow influences the “near-abroad” and even European Union member states.

May 8, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

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