December 22, 2021

Season’s Greetings!

ICDS would like to wish you all a peaceful holiday season, spent with your loved ones and filled with good things!

Wishing you the beauty, blessings and joy this season brings, we thank everyone we had the pleasure of working together with in 2021, and hope for more opportunities for successful cooperation in 2022.

This year brought the world more than its fair share of challenges. Under difficult circumstances, we managed to continue with our work, keep growing and set new goals.

We were incredibly happy to hold the Lennart Meri Conference 2021 this year, after it was postponed – as many good things were – in 2020. LMC 2021, entitled “My Neighbour’s Problem Today – Mine Tomorrow” brought distinguished policymakers, analysts, politicians, military personnel and academia from around the globe to take part in discussions on key foreign and security policy issues. We are already getting excited for the next year’s conference, which will take place 13-15 May 2022.

The Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2021 (ABCD 2021) also took place this year. It focused on the new Strategic Concept that NATO will develop in time for its next summit in 2022. The conference discussed the influence of Russia and China on our security environment and how NATO should position itself politically and militarily in relation to these two countries, including in its deterrence and defence posture in the Baltic Sea region.

While remaining cautious, it was good to hold physical events and meet people from across the world once again this year. In the summer, we were present at Paide Opinion Festival and debated on several timely topics. In October we held the International Autumn School Resilience League 2021 in Pärnu and in November a high-level report launch/conference on Estonia and Norway in the UN Security Council. As the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS held a series of China-related events throughout the year, it was only appropriate to cap it off with an event on CCP influence in the Nordic-Baltic region, as we were honoured to host distinguished experts as part of the Sinopsis’ series “Mapping China’s Footprint in the World”. See all events.

It was a strong year in publications for the ICDS. Russia remained as one of our main topics of research. We published reports and analyses on energy security, dialogue with Russia, as well as relations with Belarus and lessons learned from Zapad-2021. China also gained a lot of attention. The Nordic-Baltic region and regional cooperation was also one of the main subjects throughout 2021: we examined first responses for the COVID-19 crisis, developments in the Arctic, as well as cooperation in the UN Security Council. The upcoming new NATO’s Strategic Concept was focus of our #NATO2030 policy brief series. Ukraine also remained as one of our most important subjects of research in 2021. See all publications.

In addition to reports, policy briefs and analyses, we published commentaries and short analyses all year long. See all commentaries.

43rd and 44th consecutive courses were held and 112 people graduated the Estonian National Defence Course (ENDC) in 2021, increasing the total tally of ENDC graduates to 2246. The 4th consecutive special course on digital affairs, e-governance and cyber security also took place in November, with 30 graduates this time.

From the start of 2021, our foreign and security policy magazine Diplomaatia is published quarterly instead of 10 times a year. The four issues of 2021 focused on great power rivalry in the world, Nordic-Baltic region and cooperation, the Lennart Meri Conference 2021, the future of NATO and its new Strategic Concept.

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