Opinion

Opinion stories from and about Estonians.

Expat: Estonia should introduce gender-neutral toilets

Ron Borenstein, a Tallinn-based Israeli expat, recommends Estonia to follow the Swedish example and initiate gender-neutral lavatories. On the week Estonia celebrates 27 years since the restoration of its independence, I would like to talk about another place, not far from here. I recently visited Stockholm, the Swedish capital, and …

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Paul Goble: Five lessons for today from the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact entails five lessons for the world today, Paul Goble, the American analyst, writer and columnist with expertise on Russia, writes. Some anniversaries are marked because they are so important historically that one cannot understand the present without returning to them. Others are commemorated because they contain …

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The Estonian Opinion Festival to include a number of English-language panels

Estonians are gathering in Paide for the sixth time for a real grass-roots democracy building event; the Opinion Festival – also called “a rock festival of words” – unites Estonians, but not only: the festival also features number of English-language panels. This year’s Opinion Festival will treat participants to 12 English-language …

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Tallinn city government’s response to Estonian World’s editorial

Priit Simson, an advisor to the mayor of Tallinn, responds to the editorial Estonian World published on 10 July. The lesson of the so called “racism scandal” is this – we need more communication and less phobias. It’s easy to awake phobias these days and it’s quite hard to chase …

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Editorial: When the Tallinn mayor and his deputies lost the plot

The head of the traffic department at the Tallinn Transport Board appeared to poke fun at black people, cheered on by the city’s mayor, Taavi Aas, and deputy mayor, Aivar Riisalu – all wittingly or unwittingly engaging in a racist practice. It has emerged that during the Tallinn city government’s …

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The missing piece in the German foreign policy discourse: the Baltic Sea region

With the recent German coalition agreement in place, attention turns to Germany’s role in Europe. This article was originally published in the International Centre for Defence and Security’s blog. Although the German election campaign revolved around issues of domestic politics, the approved coalition agreement included a chapter on Germany’s role in the EU, Europe …

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Estonia: A nation dispersed by history – united by a global destiny

Canadian-Estonians Marcus Kolga and Laas Leivat propose to engage hundreds of thousands of Estonians living abroad and establish their official representation in the Estonian government and parliament. Estonia’s domestic population is declining, but our global population remains stable. While we desperately seek ways to create more Estonians, there are 200,000 …

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The unpredictable future of the Nordic-Baltic region

The triple menace of Russian revanchist, American opportunist and eurozone disintegrative tendencies does not bode well for future prospects of the Nordic-Baltic region, the Icelandic diplomat and former foreign minister, Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, writes. The prospects for the Nordic-Baltic (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden – editor) …

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Do it for Tartu – what we can offer to the City of Good Thoughts

Hongkonger Iverson Ng, a first-year student in Tartu, calls upon the international students in the town to learn the Estonian language to leave a legacy and strengthen their sense of belonging. “We tried to engage and invite them to an event. We made an effort. But it didn’t seem to …

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