Russia’s aggression against Ukraine proves there is a need for both communities and individuals to commit to national defence. Estonia is no exception in this regard, and despite overall security, its own national defence system could use certain improvements to achieve effective comprehensive national defence. It’s wise to remember that before Article 5 on collective defence, the NATO Treaty also contains an Article 3 pertaining to each member state’s own defence capability. Now is a good time for all people in Estonia to individually and collectively learn about and discuss these issues.
On 17 October, the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association, the International Centre for Defence Studies, and the Amicitia sorority and Vironia fraternity, in collaboration with the Parliamentary National Defence Committee, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Defence, held a conference at the Estonian Parliament conference centre, entitled “Estonian Security 2014: My Contribution”.
Speakers included politicians as well as representatives from government authorities and NGOs. The event was aimed mainly at civil society organizations, including academic organisations, non-profits and other NGO sector institutions who deal with security issues in one way or another.
The conference found answers to questions about public involvement and every person’s contribution to ensuring national security. As a concept, security was approached from various angles and the coverage of the issue was as broad as possible. Topics included comprehensive national defence, the opinions and participation in national defence of speakers of languages other than Estonian, ways of shaping a strong society and how citizens can contribute directly to national defence.