(23-26.10.17) In July 2017 Estonia took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time in its history and in a decisive moment for the future of the European Union.
The European Parliamentary Association, together with the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the Council of Europe, set up a special program to celebrate the history, the culture and the political engagement of this country.
On Monday 23 October, it was the day of the opening celebration of the Days of Estonia. The evening started with the screening of “The singing Revolution”, a documentary film created by James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty about the nonviolent revolution in Estonia, in which hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly between 1986 and 1991, in an effort to end decades of Soviet occupation. The Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam, who contributed to the realisation of the film, was also there and intervened provide his insights into that dramatic period of the Estonian history.
After the screening of the film, our guests visited the exhibition “The wild side of Estonian landscapes”, a photographic collection of the many beauties of Estonian nature, and, then, had the opportunity to experience the culinary culture of Estonia, with a cocktail with traditional Estonian food and drinks.
On Wednesday 25 October we organised a debate on the topic “European Defence Union: The end of soft power?”, with the participation of two prestigious guest speakers, i.e. MEP Urmas Paet (ALDE), rapporteur for the European Defence Union report, and MEP Tamás Meszerics (Greens), shadow rapporteur for the same report.
What is the way forward to put more union in our defence? And what use would the EU make of its more efficient military capacity? These were just some of the questions that the public raised during the debate.
Next, on Thursday 26 October we organised a breakfast on the topic “Estonia: a model for a digital Europe” with MEP Kaja Kallas, who has been rapporteur on the report on “Towards a Digital Single Market Act”. For our members, this was an occasion to discover the many efforts that Estonia made in the field of digitalisation and how this model could be implemented at European level.