In October 2013, Diplomaatia celebrates its 10th birthday – the first issue of the magazine was published in October 2003 under the guidance of the then-editor-in-chief Marianne Mikko. Before the beginning of 2013, Diplomaatia had three editors-in-chief: in addition to Mikko, Kadri Liik and Iivi Anna Masso also held the post. This issue of the magazine mostly looks at the last decade of Estonian foreign policy, its current state and possible future.
In the opening story of the issue, Mart Laar, two-time ex-Prime Minister of Estonia, opines that Diplomaatia was born at the end of an era and heralded the arrival of a new decade. ‘It was the end of an era during which Estonia was driven by a couple of grand ideas, towards the achieving of which all efforts were focused,’ writes Laar, referring to the ambitions to achieve member status in NATO and the European Union. Talking about the possible future of the Estonian foreign policy, Laar reminds us that we owe our success so far largely to the fact that we have been sufficiently ‘crazy’.
Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia and former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Postimees, writes that Estonia, being a border state, can be successful and maintain its security in this ever-changing world only by having strong allies and friends. Comprehensive Western domination in world politics, however, has sadly begun to wane, claims Mihkelson.
Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia asserts that a successful foreign policy presupposes clearly defined goals – it is important for the executors of foreign policy to have something to work for, something to believe in. ‘Estonian foreign policy has reached long awaited stability and, all in all, this is good. However, stability must not turn into stagnation,’ writes Sillaste-Elling.
Kaarel Tarand, editor-in-chief and columnist of the weekly cultural newspaper Sirp, states that Estonia has achieved all the previous grand objectives of its foreign policy – securing its independence and integration into the international community. Tarand notes, however, that in regard to bilateral relations, Estonia focuses on giant nations population-wise, while at the same time neglecting relations with nations more akin to itself. Tarand finds that, ‘It is particularly sad that the Nordic countries geographically more distant to us, such as Denmark, Norway and Iceland, have been completely marginalised in our foreign relations and trade.’
This issue also includes an essay about the Baltic Way and Catalonia’s strivings towards independence by Toomas Kiho, editor-in-chief of the science journal Akadeemia; an overview of the re-emerging threat of chemical weapons by Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute; and the orientalist Kadri Jõgi’s analysis of the domestic political situation in Egypt after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in July this year.
This article was published in ICDS Diplomaatia magazine.