Speeches

Address of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the European Parliament, February 2, 2016

Address of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the European Parliament, February 2, 2016

Ten years ago I left these chambers to take a new post in my country. There was no Euro or migration crisis, no idea that European borders could be changed by force, no talk that the European project might fail. Also, there were no smart phones, no revelations of internet surveillance, there was no Uber.

For nearly three quarters of a century we have repeated the mantra of Europe as a project for peace. For the first part of three quarters of a century, Europe, half of Europe to be precise, thrived and grew, with our security in large part outsourced, even under the shadow of an agressive, totalitarian Soviet Union. For the past quarter century, in the absence of any external threats, we have pursued the reintegration of Europe – also to bring back to the fold those nations forced against their will to live under totalitarian rule.

Today, however, we are confronted with new existential, external, and as we were reminded in Paris last november, internal threats. We are at loss, we are fearful and Europe for so many is no longer the answer.

I hear ringing in my ears William Butler Yeats:

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

So let us face this new reality. Europe is amidst a transformational crisis. Do we pull together or do we let others deal with it? A transformational crisis where we shall put to the test all that Europe has achieved, step by step, since Monnet and Schuman. We are approaching a tipping point where either we become stronger or we let fissiparous forces to prevail.

02.02.2016

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News

President Ilves defined today’s most acute cyber problems at a discussion at the Munich Security Conference

President Ilves defined today’s most acute cyber problems at a discussion at the Munich Security Conference

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, one of the presenters at the event that preceded the 52nd Munich Security Conference, gave a crash course on cyber security to approximately 500 people and spoke about the three main problems of the cyber world.

12.02.2016

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President Ilves to participate in Munich Security Conference: boundless crises, reckless spoilers, helpless guardians

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will take part in the 52nd Munich Security Conference from today until Sunday; this year, the debates will focus on the current and future international security policy challenges, including the future of security in Europe, the situation in Ukraine and conflicts in the Mediterranean region.

11.02.2016

 

News in pictures: President Ilves met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

News in pictures: President Ilves met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves assured the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze, at their meeting that Estonia will continue to support Georgia in introducing and continuing important reforms for Georgia's society and integration with the European Union and NATO, and he emphasised the importance of closer IT and economic co-operation between the two countries.

10.02.2016

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