December 12, 2011

Summary

This is the 100th issue of Diplomaatia. As a tribute to this milestone, we invited some of our best authors of all time and some of Estonia’s top diplomats to contribute to this celebratory issue. The writers also include all of Diplomaatia’s editors since the foundation of the magazine in 2003. Topic-wise, the issue focuses on Estonia’s current major foreign policy concerns, which include the economic and financial crisis in the EU and our relationship with our eastern neighbour, as well as reflections on Estonia’s and the EU’s evolving positions in today’s international political environment.

This is the 100th issue of Diplomaatia. As a tribute to this milestone, we invited some of our best authors of all time and some of Estonia’s top diplomats to contribute to this celebratory issue. The writers also include all of Diplomaatia’s editors since the foundation of the magazine in 2003. Topic-wise, the issue focuses on Estonia’s current major foreign policy concerns, which include the economic and financial crisis in the EU and our relationship with our eastern neighbour, as well as reflections on Estonia’s and the EU’s evolving positions in today’s international political environment.

Summary

This is the 100th issue of Diplomaatia. As a tribute to this milestone, we invited some of our best authors of all time and some of Estonia’s top diplomats to contribute to this celebratory issue. The writers also include all of Diplomaatia’s editors since the foundation of the magazine in 2003. Topic-wise, the issue focuses on Estonia’s current major foreign policy concerns, which include the economic and financial crisis in the EU and our relationship with our eastern neighbour, as well as reflections on Estonia’s and the EU’s evolving positions in today’s international political environment.
The opening essay by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, “Wimpy’s Hamburger,” analyses Europe’s economic crisis in the context of its recent history and persistent division lines that the crisis shows in a new and different light. Ilves also examines the EU’s role in a changing world and its relations with the United States. The president calls for solidarity, both across the Atlantic and within Europe, but also for responsibility in order to defuse the crisis and to prevent the rise of populism.
Placing a special emphasis on the EU’s shifting global position, diplomat Harri Tiido assesses its foreign policy in his essay “A Republic of Merchants or an Enlightened Empire?” Although Tiido longs for a more assertive and concerted common foreign policy, he insists that we need to accept that Europe’s global role is on the decline. A member of the Estonian Parliament and the first Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia, Marianne Mikko, asks in her article “What Kind of Europe Do We Want?” whether the EU should develop towards a federation or a union of sovereign states.
In his essay “A Small State Leaving the Harbour of Comfort,” diplomat Sulev Kannike explores the nature and the role of small states, together with the historical preconditions and the ideological justifications for their existence. His key argument is that although the position of states like Estonia is relatively secure at this moment in history, we should not allow globalisation weaken our ‘ideological immunity system’.
Journalist Edward Lucas’s article “Welcome to the Moral High Ground. What Next?” focuses on Estonia’s success in joining all the international clubs and in achieving remarkable results as one of the most balanced economies in the eurozone and as a renowned and respected expert on e-governance. Lucas encourages the Estonians to enjoy the fruits of their labour, but also to be more assertive and creative in finding new ways forward.
Diplomat Riina Kionka argues in her essay “Values-Based Foreign Policy Is Effective Foreign Policy” that the protection and promotion of the rights of children and women in conflict regions is not an extravagant luxury, but an essential part of efficient foreign policy that is beneficial to both the economy and security in the long run.
A few articles focus on our eastern neighbour and our relationship with it. The article by European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas, “On the EU’s Relationship with Russia in the Field of Transport,” outlines the possibilities for negotiation with Russia that has become more open and freer than before, but is still far from being a democratic nation. In her essay “Let’s Think Again. About Russia”¦,” Kadri Liik, a researcher and a former Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia, assesses Estonia’s relationship with Russia and claims that in Estonia the attitudes towards Russia tend to be very black-and-white.
Kaarel Kaas, a researcher and a former Co-editor of Diplomaatia, looks back at the final collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago in his article “The Myth of Bloodless Decay.” Kaas highlights the numerous ethnic conflicts and local wars that took place during and after the collapse to remind us that the fall of the empire was not as bloodless as often assumed.
The issue also contains a regular year-end synopsis of the pivotal foreign policy developments and events of the outgoing year, plus a book review. In his article “Estonia in a World of Great Change,” Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, looks back at the year 2011 and affirms that we are indeed experiencing a period of massive transformation. In the book review section, the current Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia, Iivi Anna Masso, reviews Francis Fukuyama’s latest book The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution.
Last but not least, journalist Konstantin von Eggert offers an overview of Russian foreign policy in his article “A View from the East.” His central argument is that the rhetoric employed by the Russians in foreign policy often reflects their domestic policy goals.

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