Today, One Hundred Years Ago and One Hundred Years After
The current Riigikogu, that will soon terminate its activities, has considered the issue of population a very important topic nationally, and has formed a special committee, the Study Committee to Solve the Demographic Crisis, to deal with it. This Committee has drawn public attention to the problem, and has cooperated with the universities and researchers to hear recommendations on how to resolve the situation. This issue of Riigikogu Toimetised, which focuses on the demographic problems of Estonia, publishes some studies that are the result of the work of the Committee.
Understandably, this is a complicated topic. The panel discussion of the Riigikogu Toimetised, in which all members of the Study Committee to Solve the Demographic Crisis participated, gave an overview of what had been done so far. In principle, there are four ways for making the number of people grow: accepting of new immigrants; taking back the people who have left Estonia and wish to return; raising the birth rate, or increasing life expectancy, so that people would not die so early. You can read the solutions and policy recommendations proposed by members of the Committee in the summary of the panel discussion.
Population is the central topic in the Focus section of this issue, and partially also in the Studies section. The Focus section starts with an introductory fundamental essay “The Story of the Estonians” by statistician and demographer, Professor Emeritus Ene-Margit Tiit. The next articles discuss various aspects of the topic in more detail.
Without the foundation that was laid one hundred years ago, we would not have our state today, and most probably, we would not have anything. One hundred years ago from the date this issue of RiTo comes out, the Estonian War of Independence had already begun. The Provincial Assembly was working at Toompea. On 1–5 February 1919, it convened for its last session, and on 24 April handed its powers over to the newly elected Constituent Assembly, the direct predecessor of the Riigikogu. Therefore we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Riigikogu next year. On that occasion, the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor addresses the Riigikogu Toimetised. Besides that, the new issue introduces Jaak Valge’s book on the history of the Riigikogu, and gives an overview of the exhibitions that celebrate the anniversary of the Riigikogu.
The renewing of the homepage of Riigikogu Toimetised (https://rito.riigikogu.ee/) is coming to an end, and from now, all texts of the new issue are freely available on the homepage. Our mission is to collect the best knowledge on the nationally important issues that is at the moment available in Estonian, and make it available not only to our constitutional institutions, but also to the wider public.