At the opening session of the Riigikogu

At the opening session of the Riigikogu

Honourable members of the Riigikogu,

dear people of Estonia!

Over the last few months, there has been a great deal of criticism directed at our parliament that, in my opinion, the Riigikogu has not earned. Criticism of the most recent presidential election, which, truth be told, was conducted exactly how the rules stipulate. That criticism is unfounded – you all did your job swiftly and well. Our parliamentary state functioned the way it was supposed to.

Some of the criticism stemmed from procedural regulations that are simply not optimal for Estonia’s current electoral system. The Riigikogu can heed the discernible public dissatisfaction and amend these rules, and I hope that it will. No changes were made after the last presidential election and could suspect that unfinished business would come back to haunt us. It did.

The deadline for registering presidential candidates could be moved up by a month or two. For that option to be feasible, the list must then be final. May whoever receives more votes from those who wished to have their say in the electoral college, win. Anyone who doesn’t want to vote will have voluntarily stepped aside, no matter that they are essentially present. It is their choice and their right, but abstention should not affect the electoral results to any greater extent than the choice of a representative who has considered the candidates and come to a decision. And thirdly, local governments deserve greater representation in the electoral college.

In this way, the public’s faith in the procedure for electing the president of the Republic of Estonia will be easily restored. There’s actually very little for us to do!

Much more complicated is, of course, the Riigikogu’s own role in the way that governance is organized and the place it thereby receives in people’s hearts. If Estonian citizens were to feel that the Riigikogu is truly a body that represents the views of all who live here – one where decisions take different worldviews into account while honouring the framework of freedoms, rights, and obligations enshrined in our Constitution – then perhaps they would also be prepared to give the parliament more breathing room and generous trust to consider who will be the next Estonian president. I believe that much of the aggravation came from people simply regarding the Riigikogu as incompetent. They did not trust it to make a crucial decision in a manner and a way that has been trusted for 30 years.




President Kaljulaid: By establishing principles of reliable connectivity the EU would be contributing to global security  


“The European Union was founded to defend democratic principles, which is why we have to focus on the global protection of human rights when talking about strategic autonomy,” said President Kersti Kaljulaid today at a meeting in Rome of the Arraiolos Group of heads of state of parliamentary nations. “We also need to take into account that we depend on technological networks in this day and age, and the fact that who controls the digital connections that form the basis of our day-to-day functioning could become the biggest conflict of the 21st century. It’s important that the European Union dedicate itself to creating and protecting reliable connectivity.”



President Kaljulaid is on a working visit to Italy and Germany

Today and tomorrow President Kersti Kaljulaid is on a working visit to Italy where she will participate in the meeting of the heads of state of the Arraiolos Group, meet with leaders of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the UN World Food Programme and visit the headquarters of the EUNAVFOR Med/Irini – the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation. On Thursday the President of the Republic will attend the meeting of the presidents of the Baltic States and Germany in Berlin.



President Kaljulaid in Kenya: This is the gateway to Africa for many of our companies

President Kaljulaid in Kenya: This is the gateway to Africa for many of our companies

On a state visit to Kenya, President Kersti Kaljulaid met with her Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday in Nairobi. One of their main talking points was boosting cooperation between companies from their two countries, but the heads of state also discussed cooperation in the international arena as well as environmental, educational and e-governance issues.