October 16, 2015

Summary

The October edition of Diplomaatia deals mostly with the refugee crisis. First, the Estonian foreign minister, Marina Kaljurand, emphasises the need to maintain European values as the European Union faces mass immigration. “If we are able to make European values and cooperation a priority, we could become stronger and more united as a result of this crisis. Otherwise, there is a risk that the EU will change, the Schengen system vanishes, borders close, free movement disappears, new dividing lines emerge and so on,” she writes.

Hille Hanso, a freelance journalist, interviews three Syrian refugees living in Istanbul. They give us a glimpse of what life looked like in a war-ravaged Syria and try to correct some stereotypes about their country. Helga Kalm, a junior research fellow at the ICDS, argues that the prospect of war going on indefinitely stops people from returning to their homeland.
Kai Kaarelson, head of the Estonian president’s foreign policy department, writes that history has shown how important it is to understand other countries, especially in times of crisis, such as the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Americans succeeded in drawing the right conclusions from Soviet messages. “Empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of others—ideally extends to both friends and enemies. Without a doubt, the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes gives a strong advantage in interpreting reality for both states and people,” she says.
Kaja Kallas, an Estonian MEP in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, gives an overview of why the EU Energy Union is still not working. She is convinced that greater energy cooperation between EU countries would be of more benefit to consumers. “In order to make it possible to consume cross-border energy, the member states should invest substantially more in connections between them,” Kallas writes.
Piret Pernik, a research fellow at the ICDS, shows how the issue of cyber security is part of foreign and security policy. “In addition to international cooperation, promoting alliances and developing the EU’s cyber policy (some of the country’s main goals, according to the Estonian cyber security strategy to 2017), it is also necessary to protect Estonia against politically motivated cyber-attacks,” she writes.

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