Opinion

Opinion stories from and about Estonians.

Adam Garrie: Modern Europe and political geography

Recently EstonianWorld’s co-author Chris Glew interviewed British Liberal Democratic Member of Parliament Sir Malcolm Bruce about his views on Estonia’s position in the wider world. There was one comment by Sir Malcolm that particularly struck me as being rather unintentionally controversial but controversial nevertheless. First of all he said that …

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Charter 12 – Estonia’s stab at direct democracy

After Iceland, Estonia is the second European country to engage in a radically novel democratic experiment. Against growing contempt for out of touch political elites, Estonian civil society is betting on crowdsourced constitutional reform. Charter 12 is an Estonian citizens’ initiative, signed by seventeen prominent public figures (mostly academics and …

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The opening session of the 14th Riigikogu. Photo by Erik Peinar.

Chris Glew: Estonia’s problem is the voting system

Chris Glew argues that Estonia needs a different voting system – as currently, there’s a lack of a direct link between the voter and the MP.* For those unaware, Estonia’s method of electing its parliamentarians is the d’Hondt method of proportional representation. The country is divided into 12 regions, each …

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Edward Lucas: The Baltic states – defending the least defensible?

Russia is poised to gain technical superiority over NATO in areas that are crucial to the defence of the Baltic states. Scandinavian defence pundits are a sober bunch. But the latest report by the Swedish Defence Research Agency is a gripping read. Its 115 pages offer the first comprehensive and …

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US presidential elections and Estonia – what’s the impact?

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson once said that having lost an empire, Britain is looking for a role. Today, something similar could be said about the United States. Having shed its briefly held status as the world’s single “hyperpower,” the U.S. is now looking for a role in the …

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Adam Garrie: Why a secular Syria is good for Estonia

It is bitterly ironic that the Russian Federation, a country whose courts have just imprisoned several young women under the guise of protecting a religious institution and religious sensibilities, is a vastly more robust supporter of secularism in the Middle East than is Estonia. Less than two weeks ago, Urmas …

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Sten Hankewitz: Can your enemy’s friend be your friend?

“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility.” “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” I This exchange happened between US President Barack Obama and Russian then-President Dmitri Medvedev in March 2012. Between then and now, Medvedev became Prime Minister (and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin …

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Estonian President Ilves: Citizens themselves should determine organisation of the EU in future

The European Union needs a new Convention of the Future of Europe, whereby the member states, meaning its citizens, can adopt decisions regarding the organisation of the future Europe, said President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Giuliano Amato, former prime minister of Italy, at a discussion …

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