December 10, 2008

English Summary

The eighth issue of the foreign and security affairs journal Diplomaatia concentrates on the European Union, since on the First of May 2004 Estonia became a full member of the organisation.

The eighth issue of the foreign and security affairs journal Diplomaatia concentrates on the European Union, since on the First of May 2004 Estonia became a full member of the organisation.

English Summary

The eighth issue of the foreign and security affairs journal Diplomaatia concentrates on the European Union, since on the First of May 2004 Estonia became a full member of the organisation.
Tartu University political science lecturer Viljar Veebel contributes a piece entitled “The Constitutional Treaty: Choices for Estonia and Europe”. He discusses three fundamental dilemmas: further integration vs. national sovereignty, democracy vs. efficiency, and the evolutionary nature of the EU institutional system. Veebel argues that “the stalemate at the negotiating table was inevitable in a situation where the initiators of the Treaty (France, Italy and Germany) viewed it as a completed document while the small states were annoyed at being ignored.”
Diplomaatia publishes excerpts of Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt’s speech at Humboldt University last November where he elucidates his position on federalism and the EU. Verhofstadt’s ideas come across as devastatingly frank in the Estonian context, where most political parties are concerned foremost with maintaining national sovereignty.
The Irish Ambassador to Estonia, Sean Farrell, in his article entitled “Neutrality and Security” explains why Ireland is a neutral state but one that is nevertheless actively engaged in combating international terrorism. Farrell writes: “The way to defeat the terrorist is to remove the root causes of the festering environment and circumstances within which they are bred. For there is no doubt in my mind that poverty and the great disparity between we in the West and the rest are central to the development of the sense of alienation which turns ordinary people desperate, desperate people violent and violent people suicidal.”
As the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Estonia show signs of becoming a pandemic, Estonian diplomat Kärt Juhasoo-Lawrence discusses what can be done. She recommends that the Estonian political elite should acknowledge the full scale of the problem and take more effective measures to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in Estonia, instead of ignoring it.
Eesti Päevaleht columnist Kaarel Tarand argues that rather than criticizing Germany’s positions on the EU, Estonians should try to understand Germany better, especially since she is one of the two motors of the EU. In the long term, it is not sensible for Estonia to oppose German ambitions.
Aarne Rannamäe analyzes the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His article carries the intriguing title, “Despite the opposition of Palestinians, their state will nevertheless be born”. Rannamäe is relatively sceptical when writing that “the first task of each Israeli government has been to fight terrorism. This has been the main campaign promise of both election winners and losers and the goal of all governments, but all have failed.”
In the book section, Arti Hilpus reviews Andreas Meyer-Landrut’s Mit Gott und langen Unterhosen. Erlebnisse eines Diplomaten in der Zeit des Kalten Krieges about the experiences of a German diplomat during the Cold War.

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