Europe Day celebrations start 3 p.m. in Tallinn's Freedom Square

Kalush Orchestra
Kalush Orchestra Source: Maxim Fesenko/

Tuesday, May 9 is Europe Day, an event being marked in Estonia by events taking place in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak).

The schedule runs from 3 p.m., with features relating to Tallinn – European Green Capital 2023 and representation from the European Commission in Estonia, as well as foreign embassies.

At 6 p.m., the day culimates in a free concert featuring Eurovision reigning champions Kalush Orchestra (Ukraine), Tanel Padar – the 2001 winner – and band, and Stefan, last year's entry from Estonia.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said the historic speech by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman 73 years ago today laid the foundation for the idea of modern Europe and the cooperation needed to make sure war between European nations remains inconceivable.

Tsahkna said, via a ministry press release, that: "This peace and new era was enjoyed by many generations, but now Russia, with its cruel aggression in Ukraine, is threatening all those principles we value and cherish."

Europe Day 2023 is being marked by a series of events in Freedom Square in Tallinn. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vivian Loonela, Director of the Representation of the European Commission in Estonia, said of the event that: "Europe Day is a fitting occasion to remind how well Estonia has been doing, thanks to its membership of the EU. Estonia is an influential member state because we are successful at explaining our ideas and understanding the concerns of other countries."

"EU support for Ukraine remains iron-clad and this is evident in the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen's visit to Kyiv today," Loonela went on.

Foreign Minister Tsahkna added that all are welcome at today's events, and that he was pleased the tradition of Europe Day, which stretches back to 1998, was revived last year – albeit that time in front of the ministry.

"Despite this year's temporary location on Freedom Square, we are maintaining the tradition and next year, we will be celebrating Europe Day in front of the Foreign Ministry again," Tsahkna added.

ETV is broadcasting the concert and interviews from 19.30, with presenters Mirko Ojakivi and Maarja Merivoo-Parro, while ETV+, ERR's Russian-language channel, will recap the day at 8.50 p.m.

The concert is being live-streamed from 6 p.m. Estonian time, via the video link below

The concert itself is being organised jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Shared Service Center, the City of Tallinn, the Representation of the European Commission in Estonia and the Office of the European Parliament in Estonia. The events of Europe Day as a whole are being co-financed by the EU.

More detailed information (in Estonian) is here, and the event Facebook page is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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