bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 30.03.2017 | Name days: Nanija, Ilgmārs, Igmārs
EstoniaEstonia

Kaljulaid: Strong civil society is key to Estonia’s security

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 of 1)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Estonia’s new President Kersti Kaljulaid

Estonia’s new president Kersti Kaljulaid in the first speech after taking office has emphasised the need to strengthen civil society and asked fellow politicians to encourage Estonians to dream and to be by their side, when dreams have turned into failure.

Here is the full address of Riigikogu by President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid on October 10:
«Honorable Mr. President, Members of the Riigikogu and the Government, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear people of Estonia,

25 years ago, in this very same hall, the Republic of Estonia was restored. We now have a state, a democratic 21st century state. This has been achieved through the contribution of all Estonian people, irrespective of where they live, their profession, or living standard.

Today’s children only know about the occupation as part of the memories of their grandparents. They are the grandchildren of a free Estonia. Today I think about these children – and of their grandchildren.

But indeed, how small is the number of these children. Babies sleep in cots in fewer than fifteen thousand Estonian homes. Approximately one hundred thousand preschool children are there to sneak into their parents’ beds in the morning. All over the world there are hundreds of millions of such children.

These one hundred thousand children and their older siblings are our responsibility. As children grow, they will inevitably lose their sincere faith in the goodness of the world. It is our job to keep up the faith that these children have in Estonia, themselves, and the future.

All the people present in this hall have given one or other oath that conveys the same message: To remain faithful to our constitutional order. This represents an acceptance that common, shared values stand above everyday bickering and self-interest.

In our activities, we create the framework for the meaning of freedom, fairness, and justice in Estonia. We – and we alone – can maintain both the separation and balance of powers. Our attitude, mentality, and activities will decide whether people feel that the highest authority is vested in them. We will determine whether the new generations will have faith in Estonia and themselves and in the future. Let us endeavour to keep their faith.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I stand here before you, I would like to acknowledge my predecessors, as each and every one of them has been great in his era. Lennart Meri by taking Estonia into the West, Arnold Rüütel by bringing Estonia and Europe to the people, and Toomas Hendrik Ilves by launching Estonia into cyber space.

In this increasingly complex world shrunk by information density, we have Estonia, a simultaneously stable and constantly transforming nation that is looking for new targets.

We have a society that believes in education, where schoolchildren exceed their peers almost everywhere in the world.

We have a healthcare system which may occasionally give us cause to complain, yet contributes to the steady increase of average life expectancy. We have a unique culture that binds us together with a wreath of flowers. We have our language, which rises up to the heavens in the winds of incantation and seeks eternity.

We have a society where diversified communities are becoming more and more important. People with various interests and goals contribute together and as one towards making their dreams come true.

This is the Estonia that we wanted to have. 25 years ago we sang together and won Estonia its freedom. The difficulties experienced during the initial years forced many of us to toil on our own. Now we have come full circle. We have a civil society, which we will continue to nurture together.

Indeed, our everyday expectations are no longer as simple and apparent as they used to be. Independence is no longer a goal, simply an expectation. An open world is no longer a dream, just an opportunity.

This is why we now proceed and act as communities, settlement societies, choirs, and boards of school guardians. We enhance our lives, we do it together, and we enrich Estonia. Each and every one of us creates the Estonia that he or she wishes to have. This merges into the state that belongs to all of us. Let us continue to maintain this feeling of togetherness and support!

Dear listeners, unfortunately, all of this does not mean that Estonia can enjoy a carefree existence and simply focus on maintaining what has been achieved. Those who are born into freedom take the sovereignty, security, and freedoms of our small country for granted. We shouldn’t. All gardens are overcome by weeds if not tended to or taken care of.

Our population is getting older, and it is decreasing. The living standards of people depend increasingly on their distance from Tallinn or Tartu, and this is cause for concern. We top rankings that we should be at the bottom of, whether these reflect disparities in wages, rates of suicide, or quantity of alcohol consumed. Many processes that cause us anxiety, to put it mildly, take place in our immediate neighbourhood.

We can’t choose the era or world in which we live, but we can choose the standpoints we take about the world and the people around us. Do we see them as fellow wayfarers who aim for shared goals, or as competitors promoting selfish interests? If we see competitors, we will inevitably start to look for faults and lose our ability to see the positive. Knowing everyone’s weaknesses in detail will bring us no benefits. It will only contribute to the destruction of confidence.

Self-confidence is a prerequisite and important foundation for development and success. Those small children I think about today, as I stand here – they are self-confident. They have immense faith in us, but they also have the same immense faith in themselves.

Confident people build up enterprises, raise happy children in their roles as parents or teachers, compete for research grants, create and maintain our culture, and bring home medals from sports competitions.

But those who are afraid that someone at home, in school, or in the media will gleefully highlight their flaws will not promote our life. There are no perfect or infallible people, but there is also no individual without any strong features. People who are aware that they can expect gloating, ridicule, and public shaming for every mistake they make will lose their ability to make decisions.

We can only develop Estonia by supporting each other. The Constitution is not merely a set of legal provisions. The Constitution gives us basic values to rely on. Those who share these values can consider themselves sterling members of society, even if they are somehow different or we ourselves would choose a different approach within a certain context. Let us cherish our values!

Estonia did not become rich in the last century, when becoming rich required lots of natural resources and resulted in considerable damage to the environment. Luckily for us, we all have the opportunity today, for now wealth and prosperity come from education and the courage to be entrepreneurial. Apart from self-confidence, we must give our children education. This is the most important tool in ensuring they build a future for their own children.

Henry Ford was the first to say that it is not the employer who pays the wages; the employer only handles the wages. Products and increasingly services pay wages. What possible product or service could we develop in Estonia that would harness local conditions and opportunities and contribute to our international success?

This is not just a single large Nokia-type enterprise, rather many products and services that depend on the skills and dreams of their developers. These can only be created through smart work by free and responsible entrepreneurs. The state is responsible for education, and for ensuring the simplicity and freedom of entrepreneurship.

A president of a democratic country cannot single-handedly create a fair, caring environment that supports self-confidence. A president can only articulate and see that important issues for our children and grandchildren – and their children – will always be on the agenda. The president is responsible for the Estonia of our children and grandchildren. An Estonia of self-confident, well-educated, and healthy people.

This leads to an inevitable conclusion – the president must be present in places where people face difficulties. The president must use the power of her words and status of her office to support those who could otherwise be pushed away. It is the job of the president to remember that an ethical state must offer opportunities to the strong and support to the weak.

An ethical state will offer people self-confidence and will therefore become stronger itself. This is a state that belongs to the people. The highest authority can only be vested in people who sense that their leaders are in their service. The leaders of the 21st century create the environment and provide the prerequisites. The leaders of the 21st century won’t issue commands or bans. The leaders of the 21st century will inspire people to strive forward and acknowledge the outcomes. In the 21st century, success will come to countries that act with regard for the future – countries that remember and establish long-term goals.

In our era, when tomorrow is expected to be better than yesterday solely because we have already forgotten everything that happened yesterday, this will be more difficult than ever before. But this is the task for us, the people here, in this hall, today. The self-confidence and courage to act in the interests of our children and grandchildren. Their education. Their health, and the health and well-being of our parents. The care that we show looking after our parents today will show our children how they should take care of us once they are grown up.

The people in this hall must encourage others to dream, and support the realization of their dreams. And we must also be there to pick up the pieces of broken dreams. To support when the light at the end of the tunnel has dimmed, or when there is no light left.

I do believe and hope that in five years we can see more understanding and less condemnation in Estonia. More assistance and less shaming. More courage and less fear.

Back in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said his famous phrase, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This quote has accompanied me for almost 20 years since I first saw it on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. This sentence was a part of his inauguration speech. It was during the Great Depression. He also added that thankfully, the common difficulties of American society only concerned material things.

The problems of Estonia have never only concerned material things. The same can also be said about the concerns of America during the times of Roosevelt, and he probably knew it, though he didn’t say so. Our greatest problem has never been economic. Our main concern will always be security. How can we ensure that our children’s grandchildren will be able to look at the world with confidence?

Yes, indeed, we do have allies who share our values, and who have helped build the sovereign Estonia that is stronger than it has ever been at any time in its past. Let us cherish our allies and listen to their worries!

But we must never forget that the responsibility for safekeeping our sovereignty starts with us. We must have the self-confidence and faith that we can keep Estonia safe – always, every day.

The most important key to the security of Estonia is its civil society: Free and self-confident Estonian individuals who will stick together with their kindred spirits and are willing to cooperate. The importance of the Defence League in our national defense’s source documents has increased considerably. And this is also a sign of the development of a civil society.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can sense the spirit of cooperation here today, in this hall. And there is even more outside of this hall. We have spoken too little recently about some things that we take for granted – about our dreams for a better Estonia. The Estonia of our grandchildren and of their children.

Time will continue to pass, and indeed the future will inevitably come, even if we don’t think about it every day. However, the rightful, bold decisions we take today will help ensure that the hope in the eyes of those looking at us from their cradles will be fulfilled. To present and future generations, as is stated in the Constitution.

Let us cherish Estonia!»

Ref: 111.111.111.4175


Leave a reply

Caksa asked to refrain from illegal attempts to influence trade union

A letter has been sent to Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa, asking her to refrain from any attempts to illegally influence decisions of trade unions to refuse working extended work hours, as reported by Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union.

Kucinskis wants to see Citskovskis in charge of State Chancellery because he has «bright eyes»

One of the strongest characteristics of Interior Affairs Ministry’s deputy state secretary Janis Citskovskis, who is a candidate for the post of director of State Chancellery, is the ability to form a strong and capable team, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said in an interview to 900 seconds programme in LNT.

Latvia’s largest taxpayers to be awarded for the twentieth consecutive year

On 30 March, the State Revenue Service will host the Large Taxpayers award ceremony. The festive event will be attended by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, SRS Director General Ilze Cirule and cooperation partners. Awards and certificates will be handed out to the country’s largest taxpayers in twelve nominations.

International credit risk insurer upgrades Latvia’s business risk rating

International credit risk insurer Coface has upgraded Latvia’s business risk rating to A3.

Mixer in U.S. suggests allies should be consistent in their messages

As the Baltic states foreign ministers met with the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the head of the Estonian foreign service emphasised the significance of consistency and clarity in messages by allies.

Circus support association claims signatures For Human Circus are fake

Riga Circus Support Association has submitted a request to State Police, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and Saeima speaker to commence a criminal process in relation to signatures submitted to the Saeima by Animal Freedom.

Nordea economists: fate of Baltic States – prosperity or undue expensiveness?

Economic growth rate continues to speed up and become more balanced in all three Baltic States. Thanks to more rapid cyclic growth in Eurozone than expected and limited influence of political uncertainty on the global economy, Nordea Bank’s economists predict 3% growth in Lithuania and Latvia, and 2.5% growth in Estonia.

Georgia pleased with new visa-free travel to EU

After four and a half years of negotiations with the European Union, visa-free travel has entered into force for Georgian nationals travelling to the Schengen area, which has been marked by the Prime Minister of the Caucasian country with a trip to Athens and Brussels in a group of students.

Rinkevics invites USA to maintain presence in Baltic region

Strategic partnership between Baltic States and USA in the field of security and defence should continue, says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics, inviting USA to maintain its presence in the Baltic region.

Delna: a possible conflict of interests identified in Healthcare Ministry

A possible conflict of interests has been identified in Healthcare Ministry. This conflict remains unresolved, as reported by Delna.

Risky births in Swedish regions prompt government to ensure maternity ward funding

Reacting to reports on risky births in remote places in Sweden, the country’s government has earmarked funding that would maintain the operation of smaller maternity wards and reopen closed ones.

Deputies propose forming a new Public Media Council, preserving NEPLP as a regulator

In a discussion, deputies emphasized the role of an efficient public broadcasters management model in strengthening the media environment, BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

KNAB officers confiscate documents from Jurmala City Council

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau confiscated certain documents from Jurmala City Council on Tuesday, 28 March, as confirmed by the city council.

Trump suspends series of anti-climate change measures

Although the U.S. is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions globally, the country’s President Donald Trump has issued an executive order aimed at suspending measures introduced by his predecessor in the post hoping to slow down climate change.

Natural gas reserves to be created in Latvia for energy crisis situations

Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supports the plan to entrust the creation of natural gas reserves to Conexus Baltic Grid, as BNN was informed by Economy Ministry.

Martins Bondars invites Riga residents to «topple» Nils Usakovs

Leaders of political parties Latvian Association of Regions and For Latvia’s Development believe the current Mayor of Riga Nils Usakovs is a real burden for the capital city’s development. This is why they have made it their main objective to «topple» Usakovs, as noted by Latvian Association of Regions.

Unity asks for assessment of Rail Baltica project for influence on Riga’s development

Unity’s representatives in Riga City Council Olafs Pulks and Nils Josts ask for an assessment of Rail Baltica project’s influence on the city’s development.

Latvian Defence Ministry signs agreement on cooperation in cyber security matters

As part of the E-skills week, Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and President of Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association Signe Balina signed an agreement on cooperation in matters of cyber security.

Elvi and Aibe store networks form joint procurement group

Last week, two local Latvian store networks Elvi and Aibe commenced work on the creation of a joint company that would perform centralized procurements, as BNN was informed by representatives.

As UK readies to launch Brexit, interest in Estonian e-residency grows

A growing number of British citizens are applying for Estonian e-residency as the UK government plans to announce that the country will start leaving the EU later this week.

Expert: municipalities are incapable of attracting new residents

One way to increase budget revenue for municipalities is attracting new residents. This is a problem in Latvian municipalities, especially in Jurmala. «The city lacks cheap and accessible housing offers. This does not contribute to the attraction of new residents,» says real estate expert Jevgenija Dmitricenko.

Estonian gas seller: Excise duty hike unconstitutional

Estonian natural gas importer and seller Eesti Gaas has addressed the country’s Chancellor of Justice insisting that the increase of excise duty passed in 2016 was not in line with the rules of the Estonian constitution.

Bulgarian parliamentary election won by Borissov’s centre-rights

In the early parliamentary election of Bulgaria, the centre-rights led by the country’s long-time Prime Minister Boiko Borissov have won.

E-skills week to address the matter of digital security

Priorities of this year’s E-skills week include digital security and digital skills for employment and entrepreneurship, as well as e-services, comments vice-president of Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association Mara Jakobsone.

Strīķe: whenever contraband was associated with parties, SP put up all kinds of barriers

«I would never join any of the political parties that are currently in power,» said former official of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and mayoral candidate from the New Conservative Party Juta Strīķe.