Opinion

Opinion: Liberal Estonia is Back - but hard lessons have been learned

21.01.21 NEWS ... Liberal Estonia is back - but lessons have been learned along the way about engaging with radical right-wing populists and including them in government, writes director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS Dr Kristi Raik.

Madison: The influence of major European parties on Estonian counterparts

21.01.21 NEWS ... Democracy is an illusion – what matters is not the choices people make at elections or their ability to participate through referendums but the approval or veto of European parties. Jaak Madison writes about the influence of major parties over domestic counterparts following the example of the Center Party.

Jüri Saar: The anatomy of the Trump and EKRE political adventure

20.01.21 NEWS ... It would be extremely foolish to stick with the recent political line in a situation where all alternatives are preferable – whether a new coalition or extraordinary elections, Jüri Saar writes in a comment initially published in Sirp magazine.

Karin Kaup Lapõnin: The weight of the digital state on the Reform Party

20.01.21 NEWS ... To move toward the personal state, public sector services should be seen integrally, not by separating the state from local governments but by involving the latter. The state needs to be decentralized and e-services taken to people's doorstep, Karin Kaup Lapõnin writes.

Toomas Sildam: When compelled cohabitation becomes a practical marriage

18.01.21 NEWS ... It has been pointed out that if the government of the Center Party, Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa constituted compelled cohabitation, the Reform-Center alliance will be a practical marriage. However, a similar understanding of values between partners still matters in a marriage.

Imre Sooäär: It is time for a social contract on partnership

18.01.21 NEWS ... The Riigikogu will have to ensure legal certainty and security for all families that can only be done by passing the implementing provisions of the Registered Partnership Act or through the compromise tabled by 19 MPs last week, Imre Sooäär writes.

Rain Raud: Five reasons why the lesser evil is the best possible choice

17.01.21 NEWS ... The Reform Party and Center Party coalition covers the political spectrum in Estonia more or less as completely as a Reform-SDE-Isamaa alliance would. However, cooperation between the two largest Riigikogu parties can only be pragmatic, which is the only way to pull Estonia out of the bog it has sunk into, Rein Raud writes.

Indrek Kiisler: Registered Partnership Act provisions could wait

17.01.21 NEWS ... Existing and incoming leaders would do well to keep a cool head instead of gloating and passing judgment. The implementing provisions of the Registered Partnership Act will be passed sooner or later, while no one is in such a hurry to warrant doing it right away, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Political scientist: Isamaa and EKRE could divide the opposition landscape

15.01.21 NEWS ... Although Isamaa faces the danger of staying in EKRE's shadow, the two outgoing coalition parties could divide the political landscape in a way that one takes voters from Reform and the other from Center, says political scientist Martin Mölder.

Meelis Oidsalu: Freud, Jung and Rogers in the Riigikogu

14.01.21 NEWS ... Jüri Ratas' second term as prime minister landed him in a similar situation of being surrounded on all sides experienced by his predecessor at the helm of the Center Party, Edgar Savisaar, Meelis Oidsalu finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Jaak Aaviksoo: From the fourth estate to the first?

14.01.21 NEWS ... Jaak Aaviksoo asks how to meet challenges posed to democracy by globalization and the possibilities of information technology.

Opinion: Donald Trump and conspiracy theories

11.01.21 NEWS ... Donald Trump's theories about the deep state, media, climate warming and other things are alive and well also in Estonia, Raul Rebane says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Urmas Viilma: A time-out and Riigikogu confidence vote

11.01.21 NEWS ... The most responsible thing politicians could do would be to agree on a compromise that would see the marriage question put up for referendum as a bill as opposed to a matter of national significance. Failure to secure the people's support for the bill would result in the president declaring extraordinary elections.

Rait Maruste: Obstructionism and the rule of law

11.01.21 NEWS ... The confrontation between the coalition and opposition has become so sharp to have resulted in direct disregard for valid legal norms. It is especially shameful it has taken place in the Riigikogu Constitutional Committee, Rait Maruste writes.

Opinion: It is all about democracy

07.01.21 NEWS ... The Riigikogu coalition has led us back to a time when the word 'democracy' was not yet known in our land, writes ERR journalist Mirjam Mõttus.

Opinion: Pandemic highlighted shortcomings in Estonian e-Government

07.01.21 NEWS ... Estonia's much-vaunted e-Government systems underperformed during the COVID-19 Crisis, post-doctoral researcher into digital governance Dr. Keegan McBride writes, in an opinion piece which appeared in investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress. Combined with constant miscommunication, Estonia's 'e' response to the pandemic became inhibited, pointing to the need for improvements, and a realistic assessment of the country's approach to e-Government.

Riigikogu speaker: Opposition following the example of Kremlin troll farms

06.01.21 NEWS ... The opposition is behaving just like a Kremlin troll factory the aim of which is to attack its adversary, influence public opinion and render its institutions unworkable. Only this time, the sights have been set on our own country and its people's right to decide matters of the state, Henn Põlluaas writes.

Siim Kallas: UK to become one of many third countries

06.01.21 NEWS ... Boris Johnson's team is celebrating the agreement giving British goods customs- and quota-free access to the EU market. However, customs and quotas are trade restraints of the past. There is an uncountable number of new restrictions today overcoming which will be a major challenge, former European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas writes.

President's New Year's speech: 'No one is alone'

31.12.20 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid said "no one really is alone, and we have needed each other's support as never before" in her traditional end of year speech and added that, even though this year has been difficult, there is hope for 2021.

Rainer Kattel: Estonia as an idea and ideology

21.12.20 NEWS ... The first general elections of the 2020s will very likely produce a coalition of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and the Reform Party that will potentially stay in power for a long time. That will be the strongest legacy of 2010, Rainer Kattel writes in a comment originally published in Vikerkaar.

Tõnis Saarts: Year without substantial debates

20.12.20 NEWS ... The year 2020 could be described as lacking substantial debates. Future-oriented and meaningful public debate in terms of policy choices is becoming increasingly rare, which was especially evident this year, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Irja Lutsar: Number of infected set to grow rather than fall

15.12.20 NEWS ... Because the coronavirus is widespread in Estonia and Europe, the number of infected people will rather grow than start to fall in the near future. A noticeable drop in the number of infected people will only appear once inoculation has started, Irja Lutsar writes in her COVID-19 overview.

Toomas Sildam: Point of restrictions increasingly elusive

15.12.20 NEWS ... I no longer understand the point of recent coronavirus measures, while coronavirus restrictions work the better or are observed the more diligently, the clearer they are, journalist Toomas Sildam writes in his weekly comment.

Is the green turn too much for the coalition?

13.12.20 NEWS ... Important fields where innovation yields a competitive edge and helps ensure subsistence are energy, food production and information technology. Estonia needs to focus its activities, Züleyxa Izmailova writes.

UT scientists: Christmas not the time for Covid roulette

13.12.20 NEWS ... The spread of COVID-19 has taken on epidemic proportions in Estonia and the virus can be picked up anywhere. The danger is made worse by the fact that 40 percent of those who know or suspect they have had contact with a carrier change nothing about their behavior, becoming a source of danger for many others, members of the University of Tartu Covid research team Ruth Kalda, Mikk Jürisson and Krista Fischer write.

Jaanus Karilaid: Opposition will not succeed in riding the crisis

10.12.20 NEWS ... Those who amplify social conflict during an epochal crisis should give the concept of statesman a wide berth in the future, Jaanus Karilaid (Center) writes.

Imre Sooäär: Fear is the most contagious virus

09.12.20 NEWS ... Fear is the greatest pandemic, the most contagious virus in the world. It creates anxiety, weakens the immune system and hampers common sense. We need to rise above the constraints of our fears and find courage to make decisions with love, Imre Sooäär said in a speech before taking his Riigikogu oath of office.

Jevgeni Ossinovski: The government has completely failed in the second wave

09.12.20 NEWS ... Former social affairs minister, MP Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) characterizes the Estonian government's handling of the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis as chaotic procrastination and a total failure.

Indrek Kiisler: I would finally like to know how decisions are made

06.12.20 NEWS ... The government's COVID-19 crisis decision-making process is too opaque, Indrek Kiisler finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment, adding that had people a clear idea of forecasts by scientists and hospitals, they would be more likely to take warnings seriously.

Opinion: Ida-Viru County needs a bigger life preserver

04.12.20 NEWS ... The €340 million provided to Ida-Viru County through the European Union's Fair Transition Fund is not nearly enough to offset the damages caused by climate policy to the region. Moreover, the money needs to be used as efficiently as possible while avoiding the remaining oil shale industry being overloaded, regional daily Põhjarannik editor-in-chief Erik Gamzejev, says.

Kaupo Meiel: Twin Christmas trees of faction

04.12.20 NEWS ... Following the example of Rakvere, all Estonian settlements could have clearly politically defined public Christmas trees, Kaupo Meiel finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Lauri Hussar: Continued rise of Estonia 200 no accident

03.12.20 NEWS ... The rise in popularity for Estonia 200 is based on clear value stances, as well as setbacks delivered to radical populism in Estonia and the world, member of the board of Estonia 200 Lauri Hussar writes.

Tõnis Kons: Freedom of views still valid in Estonia

02.12.20 NEWS ... Lavly Perling voicing support for the Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) has been followed by a series of baffling reactions buy politicians, officials and lawyers – enough to beg the question of whether a person who has worked as a prosecutor needs to go to ground before they can have a say in Estonian politics, Parempoolsed member Tõnis Kons asks.

Marju Himma: Why listen to anti-mask protesters?

30.11.20 NEWS ... Ideas of participants of a recent anti-mask protest are worth listening to as they hide clues in terms of why a part of people believe misinformation "from the internet" or why some only join because they are tired of restrictions, Marju Himma finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Sildam: Trouble with the marriage referendum

30.11.20 NEWS ... While things are clear enough when it comes to the outspoken supporters and opponents of the planned referendum to define marriage, politics is also a game of half-tones in which context Center Party and Isamaa leaders Jüri Ratas and Helir-Valdor Seeder now find themselves, journalist Toomas Sildam writes.

Allar Jõks: Estonia needs unaffected, free discussion, not self-censorship

30.11.20 NEWS ... Does Estonia deserve a coalition who considers public health more important than a marriage referendum, former Chancellor of Justice and lawyer Allar Jõks asks.

Rait Maruste: Rural affairs minister's proposal realistic

29.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller's (EKRE) proposal to consider giving people the right to decide a part of their income tax contribution should go to a different local government finally constitutes something tangible next to so much talk of what would, could and should be done, Rait Maruste writes.

Henn Põlluaas: I want Christmas joy to find its way into every soul

29.11.20 NEWS ... Advent greeting of President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas.

Liina Kersna: A teacher's glass needs to be full

29.11.20 NEWS ... People who in one way or another engage in helping others tend to burn out faster. And teachers burning out is already a serious problem today, Liina Kersna writes.

Raimond Kaljulaid: Opposition not weak

26.11.20 NEWS ... Estonia will surely get a normal and hardworking government in the future. Efforts to that end need to be daily. However, we would do well to admit it might take months or years and that the situation could get much worse before it starts getting better, Raimond Kaljulaid writes.

Kaimar Karu: Face recognition could be added to e-voting but should it?

26.11.20 NEWS ... It might seem at first glance that face recognition could be a second authentication factor to leave us with a more secure e-voting system. However, this fails to consider the fact that the Estonian ID-card already uses two-factor authentication. The card cannot be used digitally without knowing the PIN numbers, while the latter are useless without the physical card, Kaimar Karu writes.

Tõnis Saarts: Trumpism – an inevitable part of 21st century DNA

21.11.20 NEWS ... Joe Biden's victory has given the liberals a historic opportunity to demonstrate they have empathy for the losers of globalization and that they take several of their concerns seriously. The challenge is not an easy one, Tõnis Saarts says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Sildam: Marriage vote to render coalition a one-trick pony

17.11.20 NEWS ... While it is nice the government is making efforts not to shut down the country because of the coronavirus crisis, it could still lock society in a dispute over what kind of cohabitation can be referred to as marriage and who can be called a couple for the next six months, journalist Toomas Sildam writes in the weekly comment section.

Margot Roose: Cake campaigns and concerts will not bring forth change

17.11.20 NEWS ... Political activism and publicly supporting a party that speaks to you should not be a shameful thing but rather a normal part of being a citizen, Margot Roose writes.

Jaak Aaviksoo: When science doesn't help

11.11.20 NEWS ... Science is hitched to the buggy of different moral decisions to legitimize the latter and achieve a desired goal. That is why we can see scientific arguments wielded by all interest groups in the so-called forestry war in Estonia, Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Koppel: Electoral Committee does not falsify election results in Estonia

10.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) said that election results are falsified in favor of a particular political party in Estonia by those with access to electronic votes – members of the National Electoral Committee. As a member of the committee, I regard these allegations as serious, Olari Koppel writes.

Raul Rebane: Heroes are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost

10.11.20 NEWS ... We have a crisis – a crisis of ethics, morality and behavior, Raul Rebane says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Statement | Responsibility for ensuring national security lies with the PM

10.11.20 NEWS ... Politicians who do not share the United States of America and Estonia's common understanding of democracy and care nothing for consistent efforts by the Estonian people to foster mutual relations cannot be a part of the government of the Republic of Estonia, former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and five former prime ministers write in a joint statement.

Opinion: Prime minister unlikely to send cakes to EKRE leaders this time

09.11.20 NEWS ... Long-serving Reform Prime Minister Andrus Ansip once said, speaking about government in general terms, that when scandals break out, coalitions will falter. He was bang on point, writes senior ERR journalist Toomas Sildam, following the latest scandal to engulf the coalition government, which is unlikely to see the current prime minister putting aside differences, as he did in the last squabble, by sending a cake, or perhaps rather, a hamburger.

Kiisler: European elite managing the coronavirus fall from a warm office

08.11.20 NEWS ... The coronavirus crisis drags back into the light the recently somewhat overlooked fact that society is made up of two parts, with the educated, wealthy and protected elite on the one side and those who need to look to their own devices to survive the coronavirus and its effects on the other, Indrek Kiisler finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

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