No. 20




An End to Stagnation

  • Helle Ruusing

    Editor-in-Chief of Riigikogu Toimetised issues 11–28

The world is changing. The financial and economic crisis has forced people to abandon their habitual spend-use-and-dispose behaviour reminiscent of a hamster in a wheel.

When the cash flows dried up, it forced us to ask whether we really need all of it. Smug complacency was replaced by dissatisfaction and insecurity and by the need to think and act differently. In recent years, it has increasingly seemed to me that, for people who live in a world without borders, we sure tend to think in a very limited manner. How many of us have given serious thought to nuclear energy or global warming? Yet both of these could impact our lives and those of our descendants here on the shores of the Baltic Sea in the next hundred years.

It is important that we try to think in time and in space as expansively as Jaan Kaplinski does in an essay published in this issue. I, too, hope that building a nuclear power plant in Estonia will not be just a business project and that action on climate problems will not seem like something undertaken in developed countries merely to ward off boredom. That is to say nothing about immigration and the related theme of tolerance.

Sooner or later, Estonia will adopt a new currency – the euro. This is not the project for politicians or the ruling coalition. The euro is about the trustworthiness of the Estonian state. The greatest benefit we can reap from the introduction of the euro is that Estonia’s country risk will cease to exist. For this reason, all of us (and not just the government) should exert effort so that we would not be left outside the euro zone on some technicality. We should also realize that, either with and without the euro, we will have less money in future. We must get by with what we have. Many major sectors – health care, education, administrative territorial units etc – require systematic reform. It would be simpler to continue the reforms with the euro.

This is the 20th issue of this periodical, and it can be said that we have withstood the test of time. The desire of the founders of this publication was that academic scholarship and political decision-making would meet between the covers of one volume, and it has come to fruition. Riigikogu Toimetised has a number of its own writers and readers. But new contributors and readers are always welcome to our fold. Many interesting studies are going on at our research institutions, universities and government institutions, and introducing these to a broader audience could be a clear goal of the authors of these works. Alongside submissions of a research paper calibre, longer opinion pieces are always welcomed. In choosing topics to cover, this publication tries to keep in step with the times, and tries to cover these topics in a manner that would give readers an overview even many years after the developments.

On the occasion of this milestone issue, I would like to acknowledge all of our contributors, members of the editorial board and our small number of editors. Thank you!

The desire to change and to work hard to that end – a desire that foundered in the intervening good years – is becoming replaced with the need to adapt to a new situation. The stagnation within us is no more.

Full article in Estonian