This Issue’s Main Theme – the European Union
The main theme of this edition of RiTo is Estonia and the European Union.
Could it be anything else, seeing as in only a few months the Estonian people will cast their decisive vote on entry into the EU? The second referendum in the 12 years Estonia has been newly independent is at once an evaluation of the country’s most important and long-term political choice and a decision on the future. If you add to this the recent NATO expansion, it can be said that Estonia is only now stepping into the new century together with all its concerns and joys.
Having been in the waiting room of both important international organizations, we know that these organizations as well as the entire world are not what they were, say, four years ago. When the 9th Riigikogu convened, its main concern was how best to integrate with the EU on the legislative front, hold talks with the EU on entry and build up a NATO-compatible military. We did not have to worry so much about the slings and arrows of world events. But the collapse of Yugoslavia, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have forced Estonia to view world affairs completely differently and to reevaluate its role on the world stage.
And neither does this publication remain a mere onlooker when it comes to world, EU and Estonian affairs. This batch of EU-related articles touch on many multi-faceted topics. Politicians and experts write on both the foreign policy of Estonia and the changing Europe. An overview of entry negotiations is provided, as is a look at the role of the Estonian constitution in the new Europe.