Expert: High emotional stakes major factor in record March 5 voter turnout

29.03.23 NEWS ... The record voter turnout at the March 5 Riigikogu elections has also sparked interest in investigating motivation in voting.

11th Opinion Festival is now accepting debate topic submissions

27.03.23 NEWS ... In an effort to include more English-language debates, the annual Opinion Festival in Paide is inviting discussion topic submissions from organizations, corporations, communities and other groups also in English language. The submission period this year is from March 20 through April 2.

Tõnis Saarts: Center cannot continue as a broad-based Russian party

27.03.23 OPINION ... The heads of the Center Party must keep in mind that they share in the responsibility for the future of Estonian democracy. If the party's recent Western orientation stops short of the goal, political isolation cannot be avoided, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

President Alar Karis: We as a nation must feel pride in Estonian art

21.03.23 NEWS ... Estonia needs spokespersons who have a clear voice and a wide view of society from across the cultural sector, to avoid the national mind-space being dominated by economic, pragmatic and political thinking and finding room for spiritual needs, human goals and deeper thought, President Alar Karis said in a speech marking the 101st anniversary of the foundation of the Estonian Artists' Association (EKL), which follows.

Aimar Ventsel: Georgia is more than khinkalis

20.03.23 OPINION ... Estonians' knowledge of Georgia is usually limited to food and drink. But considering Georgians' positive attitude towards Estonians, it would only be polite to brush up on the country's social and political character. There would be fewer surprises, Aimar Ventsel finds in Vikkerraadio's daily comment.

Indrek Kiisler: When will Estonia learn to say 'no' in the EU?

20.03.23 OPINION ... We are fast approaching a point where the image of the European Union will start sinking also in the eyes of those who have so far held dear the considerable perks that membership holds. The EU has served as a framework of security and Europeanness for Estonia, while cracks in that frame are getting harder and harder to mend, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Erik Gamzejev: What will we do with Ida-Viru County?

16.03.23 OPINION ... Why separate dealings with Ida-Viru County, Estonia's northeasternmost region, has thus far not borne fruit for many decades and what would help the region get on track is the subject of journalist and Ida-Viru County specialist Erik Gamzejev, in comment he provided for Vikerraadio.

Jaak Aaviksoo: Billions instead of millions

16.03.23 OPINION ... The European Union's political elite has run away with green transition enthusiasm, with just the menacing rumble of their administrative decisions reaching Estonia, academician Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Egert Juuse: Euribor as a private sector tax

15.03.23 OPINION ... The astronomical profits of Estonia's mostly foreign-owned banks are just the tip of the iceberg as their combined retained profits amount to 7.2 percent of GDP. What in this context justifies banks' 14-percent income tax rate compared to the ordinary citizen's standard 20-percent rate on (nearly nonexistent) deposit returns, Egert Juuse asks.

Riho Terras: European renovation directive steamrolling private owners

14.03.23 OPINION ... The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) undermines the right of ownership as laid out in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Private property is sacred and attacks against it need to be fought off, MEP Riho Terras writes.

Ilmar Raag: Perpetual opposition

13.03.23 OPINION ... Every society has, at any given time, around 10-20 percent fundamental opponents, irrespective of constitutional order and the nature of protests. It pays to keep in mind that whatever one might say, someone somewhere on the other side of society will interpret their words in the exact opposite way, Ilmar Raag writes in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Tarmo Jüristo: Election ratings methodologies were not transparent enough

11.03.23 NEWS ... Pontificating on which of Estonia's electoral polling companies produced the most accurate pre-election rating is superfluous, writes Tarmo Jüristo. Methods of attaining the results across the three or four companies engaged in polling where neither transparent, nor comparable, he goes on.

Merilin Piipuu: Will new Riigikogu see local governments as part of state?

09.03.23 OPINION ... Local governments are treated as if they were outside the state, Merilin Piipuu, undersecretary for cultural heritage at the Ministry of Culture, writes.

Andres Sutt: Security of e-elections has always been a top priority

09.03.23 OPINION ... E-elections are part of our digital society. Their security and credibility have always been a priority, and their security and credibility have been evaluated and confirmed by independent auditors and evaluators, writes Andres Sutt.

Analysis: Population policy campaign promises heavy on family policy

03.03.23 OPINION ... Estonian political parties tend to narrowly define population policy in their campaign platforms as policy aimed exclusively at families, write Estonian Institute for Population Studies research fellows Liili Abuladze and Luule Sakkeus.

Analysis: Parties' green visions in electoral programs

03.03.23 OPINION ... The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Tallinn evaluated the environmental, climate and energy commitments of political parties in relation to recent sector-specific research and found, with a few exceptions, that the promises were evidence-based. However, there is a lack of specific timetables for projects related to green policy.

Analysis: Public administration in elections programs

03.03.23 OPINION ... Researchers Külli Taro and Kersten Kattai find that while parties' promises for empowering local governments are more diverse and concrete these elections, there are still plenty of vague ideas and slogans devoid of subject matter.

Analysis: Healthcare electoral promises

02.03.23 OPINION ... Due to an aging population and advancements in the medical field, it critical to evaluate, whether the implementation of electoral promises will result in sustainable financing for health and social care, Praxis think tank experts, Maali Käbin, Anni Kurmiste and Mariliis Öeren write.

Analysis: Economic platforms of parties chips off different blocks

01.03.23 OPINION ... Comparing parties' economic platforms for Riigikogu elections is difficult because they are largely "chips off different blocks." While some parties concentrate on overcoming the crisis, others are after ideological purity. For some, the economy remains a second-rate matter, economist Erik Terk writes.

Analysis: Election programs ignore problems of education inequality

28.02.23 OPINION ... The peculiarity of these elections is the lack of clear ideological conflicts. The core topics of the education debate rather treat with identity as opposed to social concerns, Triin Lauri and Ellu Saar write after analyzing party programs.

Poll of the experts: What have we learned from a year of war?

25.02.23 OPINION ... Just over a year ago, on February 24, 2022, Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Alar Karis: Money for benefits comes not from politicians but our pockets

24.02.23 OPINION ... President Alar Karis said in his Anniversary of the Republic speech delivered at the Estonia Theater and Concert Hall on February 24 that Estonia should adopt a tradition where those who seek to add to fixed expenditure must demonstrate which tax hike or public cutback will pay for it.

Martin Herem: The victory of evil is unacceptable

24.02.23 OPINION ... The loss of Ukraine and the victory of evil is unacceptable, Gen. Martin Herem, commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, said during his Independence Day speech. It is likely we will need to support Ukraine for long time and personal sacrifices may need to be made.

Archbishop Viilma: We should not forget to live!

24.02.23 OPINION ... The last year has been tough for everyone but we should not forget to live, said Urmas Viilma, archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, President of the Estonian Council of Churches, in his Independence Day sermon.

Kaja Kallas: We will not surrender, we will not give up

24.02.23 OPINION ... Today we celebrate our independence and our freedom and we also celebrate the fact that Ukraine has persevered for an entire year, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in her Independence Day speech.

Jüri Ratas: February 24 shall not be a day of terror and fear for Estonians

24.02.23 OPINION ... On February 24 last year - Estonia's Independence Day - Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While the meaning of day has changed forever, we will not surrender Estonia's most important holiday to evil, President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas said, marking the 105th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

Norwegian ambassador: We have no time for complacency

24.02.23 OPINION ... At the one-year mark of Russia's brutal attack on Ukraine, the Ukrainian people need our support more than ever. Estonia and Norway – both small states, and both Russia's neighbors – have been at the forefront of assisting Ukraine, Norwegian Ambassador Marius Dirdal writes.

Jaak Aaviksoo: Estonia is underfunded

23.02.23 OPINION ... Our strategic choice has been a relatively low tax burden, but we have failed to recognize that this is insufficient to provide public services to Nordic standards. This choice should be openly discussed in society, Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Analysis: Generous social protection promises require tax changes

22.02.23 NEWS ... Märt Masso read political parties' election platforms and found them much more ideological than during the previous Riigikogu elections. Generous promises betray the fact that Estonia's social protection spending is among the lowest in Europe.

President Alar Karis at the 2023 state decorations ceremony

21.02.23 OPINION ... President Alar Karis thanked recipients of state decorations and their family and loves ones especially in a speech given on Tuesday.

Raido Randmaa: Roadbuilding tenders organization green turn obstacle

21.02.23 OPINION ... If we want to retain stockpiles of sand and gravel in Estonia and reduce the infrastructure sector's considerable carbon footprint, environmentally sparing roadbuilding must become a priority for both the contractors and the state. The first step should be to have value-based tenders, Raido Randmaa writes.

Meelis Oidsalu: Does the Baltic Defense College know more about EKRE?

20.02.23 OPINION ... POLITICO'S article includes two claims. The publication's editors claim that Russia's Wagner mercenary group planned to meddle in Estonian politics. Baltic Defense College research fellow Viljar Veebel, on the other hand, says that Wagner did work with the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE).

Lavly Perling: It is time to listen to the voice of reason

18.02.23 OPINION ... Speech by Lavly Perling at the Parempoolsed election campaign launch event on January 21.

One year of a three-day war: Reflections from Estonia

15.02.23 OPINION ... Next Friday, February 24, is Independence Day and marks 105 years since the foundation of the Republic of Estonia. While this is normally a happy occasion, last year's day was marred by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began early that morning. Academic Rein Raud reflects on the events of a year ago.

Helir-Valdor Seeder: Isamaa program about survival of nation state

13.02.23 OPINION ... Speech by Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder at the party congress on January 21.

Johanna Maria Tõugu: Estonia's security also depends on people's homes

12.02.23 OPINION ... Johanna Maria Tõugu's speech at the general assembly of the Estonian Greens (Rohelised) on January 17, 2023.

Jüri Ratas: I wish for the voters a clear mind

09.02.23 OPINION ... Jüri Ratas' speech, as given at the Center Party board meeting on January 14, 2023.

Hans Väre: Virologists retraining as climate specialists

09.02.23 OPINION ... Are you tired of being an energy expert and virologist? Prepare to become a climate specialist, Hans Väre recommends in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Kaja Kallas: Together, we will always win

05.02.23 OPINION ... Kaja Kallas' speech at the Reform Party general assembly on January 14.

Kristian Jaani: National defense education needs to be broad-based

02.02.23 OPINION ... National defense and internal security education must merge into one instead of becoming bitter competitors, Kristian Jaani writes.

Alar Karis: Through Estonian literature comes Estonian spirit and thought

30.01.23 OPINION ... We must care for our culture and its creators as having one's own language and culture is never a given for small nations, President Alar Karis said in a speech to mark the Estonian Literature Day.

Lauri Läänemets: Estonians' coping is national security

29.01.23 OPINION ... Speech by chairman Lauri Läänemets at the general assembly of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on January 14.

Jaak Tõrs: On the finance ministry clearing up the savings and loans mess

26.01.23 OPINION ... Two savings and loans associations in Estonia have run into difficulty in recent years, while investors face the prospect of losing their savings. This essentially means that area of the financial services sector in Estonia is not well regulated, and will lead to improvements on the part of the Minister of Finance, writes Jaak Tõrs, head of the Bank of Estonia's (Eesti Pank) financial stability department.

Mirjam Mõttus: Libraries dying out as there are no people, no money

25.01.23 OPINION ... Public libraries in Estonia, long considered sacrosanct, are increasingly dauntlessly being closed down, and earlier talk of service centers and broad community centers has been forgotten. There just aren't any people and isn't any money, ERR regional correspondent Mirjam Mõttus says in Vikerraadio's daily comment on Wednesday.

Lauri Hussar: Elections to decide whether Estonia will go forward or back

25.01.23 OPINION ... Speech by Eesti 200 chairman Lauri Hussar at the party's election congress held on January 15.

Clyde Kull: Ten targets on the foreign policy horizon for 2023

25.01.23 OPINION ... One of the year's turning points is the emergence of Japan as a major geopolitical player. And for the first time since the overthrow of the Shah in Iran in 1979, the future of the Islamic Republic is seriously called into question, writes Clyde Kull.

Tõnis Saarts: Election result to be decided by credibility of EKRE promises

24.01.23 OPINION ... Much in the March elections will depend on what the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) will make of its socioeconomic promises. While this is far from being the only factor at play, it is significant enough to tip the scales, political scientist Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Aimar Ventsel: Bucha was bound to happen

24.01.23 OPINION ... Ethnologist Aimar Ventsel writes about Russian industrial settlements where a real man is considered strong, always ready to strike and never defeated by alcohol. What took place in Bucha, Irpin and other Ukrainian cities was shocking, while it was not a bit surprising, the author finds.

Mari Peegel: Koidula is not the only woman who merits a street name

23.01.23 CULTURE ... In Tallinn and Tartu, the two largest cities in Estonia, there are so many streets named after notable men that it becomes tiresome to list them all. ERR journalist Mari Peegel argues in her cultural commentary, the fact that only two streets in each city are named after women should prompt a change, particularly while streets are being renamed to correct past injustices.

Maarja Vaino: Learning the language not enough to adopt a culture

23.01.23 OPINION ... People tend to draw an equals sign between speaking the language and adopting the entire culture in Estonia. However, it is impossible to merge with a culture simply by learning its language, Maarja Vaino writes in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

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