No. 26

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Twenty

  • Helle Ruusing

    Editor-in-Chief, Information Adviser of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu

This year we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of many events that were important to Estonia after regaining independence: the entry into force of our Constitution, start of the work of the Riigikogu, elections of the President, and also the adoption of the Estonian kroon.

During the last decade the people of Estonia were mostly occupied with earning money, and in the years of the economic crisis everybody tried to overcome the economic difficulties independently, by himself or herself. Reassurance that the economy and the finances of the country are in order was sufficient – then all other problems could be solved. In the twentieth year of regained independence we may be happy that we have awoken again as a nation and are ready to have a say in many issues that are of importance in the life of the state, both at the local and national level. After long silence, speaking can sound too loud or cacophonic. But actually all kinds of protests, including also strikes, meetings and proclamations, are a part of democracy. Criticising the functioning of the state, not to speak of the activities a political party or a politician, does not mean being against the state. On the contrary, it is motivated by the desire to make things better. In twenty years the world has changed a lot. The authorities are not so respected as they used to be; if a person expresses his or her opinion about something, including politics, he or she wants to get feedback as soon as possible. Those who want to have a say in politics are not satisfied only by the possibility to make a decision at ballot boxes once every four years. Thus the representative democracy also has to change. It is necessary to find formats that allow the opinions of the citizens to be heard and taken into account in the parliamentary procedures more effectively. The way decisions are made in power structures has to be open and understandable, keeping in mind both involvement and the representation of one’s own interests. The more universal the rules are, the more they strive to avoid subjectivity, the better it is. The solving of these tasks will positively mitigate the opposition that by today has formed between the power and the civic society. There will always be certain contradictions, and it is good because dissatisfaction with the way things are is the driving force of progress.

Full article in Estonian

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