Estonian Minister of Culture attends WEF Davos summit

Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE).
Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE). Source: Dmitri Fedotkin/ERR

Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE) has been in Switzerland this week, to take part in the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos.

The minister will be at Davos until today, Tuesday, while the summit itself runs to Friday. President Alar Karis and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) had not been able to attend, citing scheduling issues.

Hartman has been taking part in a European culture ministers' architectural policy conference, among other events, while a Davos memorandum on building culture is being signed, a culture ministry spokesperson says.

The memorandum consists of a commitment to jointly comply with the spatial environment quality assessment system.

"In 2018, a similar conference of culture ministers was held in Davos as a reaction to the decline in the quality of the living environment throughout Europe," Ministry of Culture spokesperson Hannes Luure said.

A joint statement in support of Ukraine is also being signed at the architectural policy conference, defining principles to be followed when contributing to the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Hartman also took part Monday in the annual WEF meeting, and at an awards ceremony for cultural figures who have been recognized as making an outstanding contribution to resolving global problems. 

All on-site expenses including travel and accommodation while in Davos are being paid by the government of the Swiss Confederation, Luure added, while the minister incurred travel costs to Davos itself of €519 plane fare and €237 for one night's layover in Zürich, he added.

Participation at Davos is by invitation-only.

President Alar Karis took part in the forum last May, while in 2020,then Prime Minister Jüri Ratas also attended, and former President Kersti Kaljulaid has also participated in the past.

President Karis and Prime Minister Kallas were invited, but were unable to attend due to scheduling issues.

The summit started January 6 and runs to Friday, January 20, and has returned to its more traditional month of January.

Founded in 1971 by economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF is an international, non-governmental lobbying organization which brings together the heads of around a thousand private sector firms, academics, leaders of NGOs, religious leaders and selected politicians. Its activities have often been the subject of various "conspiracy theories."


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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