It is singing together that built us as a nation. It is singing together that helped us carry freedom in our hearts during the 50 years of Soviet occupation. Throughout centuries, Estonian song celebrations have played an important role in Estonian national identity.
Estonia, Finland, and the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel together with Rail Baltic have a potentially important role in the new global connection between Europe and Asia. The Norwegian experts have calculated that the distance between Shanghai and Hamburg is 12 277 nautical miles, a voyage time of 39 days.
It is obvious that e-Estonia will never be ready. The rapid development of technology continues to create new opportunities for changing as a society. Yet, at the beginning of 2018, we are without a doubt the best e-state in the world.
In political discussions, we often ask whether a specific policy will create or destroy jobs. The success of an economic sector is often measured by the number of jobs it provides. The question of jobs is particularly topical in the context of new businesses or start-ups.
Estonia is to pass a legislation that will transform the transport sector and help to improve the environmental dimension of public behavior. Why is it important to foster the development of Taxify, Uber, Wisemile, Starship, and other technological companies that transform public transport and logistics in Europe?
The tendencies towards greater intrusion into people’s privacy were visible well before 9/11 and can be imagined even without the elements of its influence. The transition to e-prescriptions, online banking and voting – these are daily routines in Estonia and will be rather sooner than later in other parts of the Western world as well.
Alcohol policies differ greatly by states. Among other things, the AVMSD sets minimum standards for television advertising, although Member States are given the possibility to apply stricter rules, as television is generally clearly confined to the territory of one state.
Despite Brexit, we are trying to move forward and keep working on other initiatives that would help European companies to expand their businesses. In June, I organised a breakfast debate with the European Internet Forum to discuss taxation in the digital economy.
There is a long history of schooling in Estonia, education is highly valued. As an IT-country, Estonia is working on better integration of IT into curricula. Our challenges are related to demographic changes, changes in school network and making teaching a more attractive profession.