President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at Churchill's Europe Symposium in Zürich, 17 November 2015.
I am grateful and honoured to speak here today. This is, I must admit, a difficult task, a mere four days after the horrific and savage slaughter of innocents in Paris, when we all bore witness to the frailty of human life, the frailty of our open, liberal democracies in the face of barbarism, lawlessness and murder.
For nearly three quarters of a century we have repeated the mantra of Europe as project for peace. For the first part of three quarters of a century, Europe, half of Europe to be precise, thrived and grew under the protection of our trans-atlantic partner, the United States, even under the shadow of an agressive totalitarian Soviet Union. For the past quarter century, in the absence of any external existential threats, we have pursued the reintegration of Europe, to bring back to the fold those nations forced to live under communist dictatorship.
Today, we are confronted with new existential, external, and as we were reminded in Paris four days ago, internal threats.
Let us face the reality before us and around us. Europe is in the middle of a transformational crisis. A transformational crisis where we shall put to the test all that Europe has achieved, step by step since Winston Churchill's clarion call here, 69 years ago, for a United States of Europe.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves began a working visit to London today where he is due to give a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies on NATO's eastern wing and security in Europe in general.
On 4 December President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will release a compilation called "Teenage Wasteland - Favourites 1963-1978". A donation will be made from every album purchased to the Minu Unistuste Päev (My Dream Day) charity project, which makes dreams come true for seriously and chronically ill children in treatment at Estonian hospitals.
The current refugee crisis that is testing the unity and resolve of Europe, along with combatting international terrorism and security – these were the key words at the meeting of the presidents of the Baltic states in Palanga.