Between 165,000 and 200,000 Estonians are estimated to live outside the country right now, making around 15-20 percent of the total number of Estonians. With many communities being found worldwide, both in English-speaking countries and beyond, ERR News, in conjunction with the Integration Foundation (Integratsiooni Sihtasutus), has launched a weekly Global Estonian Report, which will give a weekly window into Estonian communities and culture from around the globe.
On 13 April, the very first virtual forum for Estonians around the world was held, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its activities and plans concerning the diaspora and how about how global Estonians can participate in Estonia's development
The virtual forum for global Estonians was a continuation of the survey conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among the diaspora last year and is the next step in strengthening co-operation between Estonia and Estonians living abroad.
"There are nearly 200 000 people of Estonian origin across the world and they all should feel they matter to their native land and that they have a chance to contribute to Estonia's development," Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said.
Watch the virtual forum here (with English translation).
The Estonian World Council (ÜEKN) is hosting a virtual global Estonian foreign policy forum on April 24. The forum will provide an overview of current important foreign policy issues and ideas about how Estonians around the world can participate in advocacy efforts to advance Estonia's interests abroad. This follows the virtual forum recently held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Estonian World Council represents central Estonian organizations from 12 countries around the world.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov discussed regional issues, border ratification and Ukraine during a phone call on April 9. The last meeting of the foreign ministers of Estonia and Russia was held in 2015, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The aim of the new support group formed in the Estonian parliament (Riigikogu) is to network the world's Estonian community and involve world Estonians in order to help Estonian companies find new foreign markets and connect all Estonian communities in the world to a digitally unified global network. The Riigikogu's global Estonian support group currently has 17 members.
This summer, Estonia celebrates its thirtieth anniversary of regaining independence. The Song Festival Grounds, where the most important and symbolic events of the Singing Revolution took place in 1987 and 1988, is preparing an exhibition and collecting digital materials about the subject. The collection of digital memories will last until May 10, 2021.
The Integration Foundation (Integratsiooni Sihtasutus) is offering Estonian language learners the opportunity to practice communication by chatting with volunteer Estonian language mentors. The initiative falls in the foundation's Keelesõber (Language Friends) program, and takes place via e-channels.
Upcoming Online Events
Memories of Home: Roman Smirnov - classical and flamenco guitarist (April 15, online)
The Memories of Home Online Concert Series, presented by Estonian Music Week and VEMU (the Museum of Estonians Aboard), embraces the duality of having roots in one country while starting afresh in another. Classical and Flamenco guitarist and composer Roman Smirnov has led an extraordinary life that took him from Estonia to Israel, Germany, Spain and finally to Canada. Along the way Smirnov added musical influences and partnerships. Smirnov now travels back to his hometown of Tallinn for a special concert and interview.
Webinar: Opening a Startup in Estonia - Why & How? (April 15, online)
Have you been thinking about opening your startup in Estonia? Want to understand how the Estonian Startup Visa works? Want to know more about the Estonian Startup Community and how to be a part of it? Join Startup Estonia and the International House of Estonia for this webinar to get answers to all of these questions and much more.
Virtual conversations: Language Roulette (April 20, online)
Language Roulette is a series of virtual meetings coorganized by teachers and mentors of the Estonian language houses of the Integration Foundation, which brings together people who want to practice Estonian in a new format of short conversations in the Zoom environment.
Teaching Estonian children and young people abroad (April 21, online)
The Estonian Institute is organizing its second training in the series "Teaching Estonian children and young people abroad" in the Zoom environment. The training is free of charge, it is offered to Estonians around the world in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia. (event in Estonian)
Estonian Foreign Policy Virtual Forum for Global Estonians (April 24, online)
The Estonian World Council, the Global Estonian NGO and the Estonian World Youth Network will host a virtual global Estonian foreign policy forum on Saturday April 24, 7 pm (Estonian time). The forum will provide an overview of current important foreign policy issues and ideas about how Estonians around the world can participate in advocacy efforts to advance Estonia's interests abroad.
What is Global Estonian?
Global Estonian is an online portal, in Estonian and English, and network for Estonians and friends of Estonians around the world.
Managed by the Integration Foundation, Global Estonian brings together news, events, culture, organizations, support programs, learning opportunities, and a wealth of other information from Estonian communities abroad, all in one central gateway.
Editor: Helen Wright