Participating in a panel discussion at the annual Opinion Festival in Paide, Central Estonia on Friday, President Kersti Kaljulaid and Free Party chairman Artur Talvik agreed that communities must create themselves.
"Communities as they have functioned thus far must remain something that create themselves and function according to the bottom-up principle as well as from a sincere desire or need to achieve something in one's area," Talvik was quoted by party spokespeople as saying.
Kaljulaid similarly found that communities' activity should in no way be regulated, arguing that its functioning should flow on its own as well as hierarchically upward.
"I am glad that communities have understood that actively standing up for their welfare is the role of the community," said the Estonian president. "A community is something woven in which every part cooperates with the others. It is a shame how few people there are today who participate in the community." She added that a solution should be sought regarding how to better invole the less active side of communities.
Scientific philosopher Kaupo Vipp said that communities' activity can be regarded as traditional culture, which is passed down through generations. "Communal activity originates from beliefs developed historically in a specific region as a mutual agreement, which is handed down as tradition," he explained.
The panel discussion also addressed cooperation between Estonia's communities and the state, where the common understanding was that the basis for cooperation is mutual trust and reasonable involvement. "A community should signal what needs to be done so that local authorities could follow [accordingly]," Kaljulaid said.
The panel discussion on communities of the future, led by Kaul Nurm, took place at the Opinion Festival's Free Party site.
Editor: Aili Vahtla