No. 22




The Constitution is not for playing with

15 December 2010


RiTo No. 22, 2010

  • Väino Linde

    Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu, Estonian Reform Party

The author stresses that although, at first glance, the Estonian Constitution and the real life are no longer moving at the same pace in many regards, we do not have to throw our Constitution to the dustbin with shame in the light of this knowledge.

In fact, Estonia has one of the most contemporary constitutions in Europe which has nicely endured the eighteen years so important for the development of our state. However, there are those who believe that it is time to begin to prepare a new text of the Constitution. A main argument of the supporters of the new Constitution is the statement that when the current text was written eighteen years ago no one knew exactly where Estonia would be today and that is the reason why the Constitution needs to be changed now due to the political development which has occurred within the state as well as elsewhere in the world. A weighty objection, however, is that the political life does not stand still nowadays, either, but it keeps developing. It is hard to imagine what changes Estonia or the European Union will see for example in the nearest decades. The fundamental principles and stability of our current Constitution may then well be the only reference points in which we will be able to find support to protect our statehood. Thus, Estonia has no need to start amending the Constitution light-handedly or to write a new text for it because the current Constitution is sufficiently abstract and flexible in its essence. Therefore we can continue to interpret and give a coherent content to the principles and positions set out therein, in line with the continuing democratic development of the life of the society.

Full article in Estonian