Not everybody knows in a deep manner that lovely and small country settled in the far northeastern corner of Europe, very close to the Russian borders: Estonia. A former soviet baltic Republic, with nothing to do with the marxist or leninist revolution. A country speaking a very poethic language, with finno-ugric roots and balanced vowels in the words. A small country, as mentioned, but with a very large and advanced IT infrastructure, where Skype was born and – also according to Wikipedia – it is very usual to find everywhere free wi-fi hotspots and also aged peolpe is used to buy, to vote (since 2005 they’ve been voting online for their politicians), to live a better and more confortable life using PCs and mobiles. Someone calls it e-Stonia.
Estonia, which is now celebrating its 99th indipendence anniversary (from Russia). In reality, we know that Russians occupied the estonian territory also after the WWII, after a short period of nazi militay occupation. But they’ve been always celebrating since 1918, because they never felt as part of the Soviet Union. A small country, with a strong patriotic pride – bigger than others – that they defend also from the finnish neighbors: their languages are very similar, but they don’t really like when a finnish guy, moving in Tallinn, wants to talk in finnish and not in estonian. You must speak estonian. If you are not able to, english is an asset.
Finland and Estonian are actually good friends. They are 30 minutes far (by plane). And a ferry boat continuously links Tallinn and Helsinki every single day.
But this european country is not only a technological heaven. It is also the next EU Member State which is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union after the current maltese Presidency. As we wrote some time ago on this magazine, the Presidencies are linked in groups of three: this is called Presidency Trio; the Trio is supposed to follow an uniform policy in most of the field of action of the legislative procedures. On the 1st July 2017, Estonia is starting its adventure, leading the executive branch of the EU insitutions, and will be the first of its own “trio” (followed in 2018 by Bulgaria and Austria).
Estonia joined the Euro common currency system in 2011. The general economic and financial asset seems to be very good and the country is open to foreign investments.
Estonia hosts one of the most important european Justice and Home Affairs Agency, called eu-Lisa, founded in 2014. Ten years before, in 2004, it joined the N.A.T.O., and subsequently its soldiers started to work together with their N.A.T.O. colleagues in most of the latest peacekeeping missions (I remember them in Kosovo, in the Multinational Specialized Unit Regiment).
Last but not least, in Tartu (the second city after the Capital), the government is hosting the Baltic Defence College, whose motto is “Ad Securitatem Patriarum” (“To secure Homelands”): isn’t it a little too much for the closest Russia?
Europeanaffairs.media will start in the next days to focus on Estonia, its insitutions, its policies announced for the semester of Presidency. We will also concentrate on the foreign presence in the international instiutions and on the modernity of this country, which actually holds a millenary history.