July 1, 2020

Globalised Estonia

AFP/Scanpix

During its two-year non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and its presidency of the body in May, Estonia has begun to comprehend how globalised the world has become, perhaps for the first time in its diplomatic life. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic may put the brakes on that globalisation. These are the themes that the June issue of Diplomaatia will explore.

Peeter Koppel, a private banking strategist at SEB Bank, writes that globalisation has taken a serious hit. “The first setback to the world becoming as open as it can be and to the belief that market forces are all-powerful occurred during the previous crisis, and now the trend has simply accelerated,” says Koppel. “We are not talking about rewinding the clock on globalisation in all contexts. However, clearly, both governments and companies will be reviewing their former supply chains, and security of supply will become more important than the lowest price in several fields,” he adds.

Diplomat Liis Lipre-Järma looks at Estonia’s first six months as an elected member of the Security Council. “The first half-year at the heart of crisis diplomacy has proved that an elected member of the council does wield influence,” Lipre-Järma says. “It can be a trailblazer, initiating discussions and setting the tone. A large part of the UN Security Council’s work is public. This makes it a forum of public diplomacy and communication,” she adds.

Analyst Nurlan Aliyev writes about the complicated military cooperation between Russia and China. “Probably at least for the immediate future, military and security cooperation between Russia and China will increase but both sides will keep an eye on each other with the aim of not repeating past mistakes,” says Aliyev.

Energy expert Andrei Belyi writes about the European Energy Charter and green policies. “The European Green Deal opens a genuinely new policy paradigm related to the policy ambition of decarbonisation,” he states. “At the same time, questioning liberal environmentalism creates difficulties in balancing the requirement for economic mobilisation and the need to protect the existing liberal system of values.”

Freelance journalist Tuula Koponen describes the situation of Greece during the debt, migration and pandemic crises. “Pollsters got a real surprise in the spring of 2020 while the coronavirus pandemic was raging. Never have the Greeks been as hopeful and certain about the future as now,” writes Koponen. “As many as 85.7% of respondents believe that all is well in the country.”

Historian Seppo Zetterberg examines Finland’s de jure recognition of Estonia 100 years ago. “Prime minister Tõnisson and foreign minister Ado Birk sent a thank-you telegram on 8 June, which Kallas delivered to foreign minister Holst the next day,” says Zetterberg. “The Finnish foreign minister’s statement that his president had conclusively acknowledged the Republic of Estonia as an independent state ‘filled the heart of the entire Estonian nation with the sincerest joy … Free Estonia will never forget the support of our Finnish kin and brothers during the historic days of establishing our state’,” wrote Birk.

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