The Republic of Estonia celebrates today its National Day and Centennial Year of Independence.
The world’s first digital society
One of the least populated countries in the European Union with a population of approximately 1.3 million, Estonia boarders the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia. Its capital and largest city Tallinn is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.
Estonia has been ranked by the Heritage Foundation as the second country in Europe and eighth in the world in terms of economic freedom. Estonia prides itself with being an advanced, high-income economy that as of 2011 was among the fastest growing in the EU.
The government of Estonia is headed by its youngest and first female president Kersti Kaljulaid who was elected by parliament in October, 2016. Prime Minister Mr. Juri Ratas, whose party is popular among Estonia’s large Russian-speaking minority, heads a coalition government which was sworn in November, 2016.
In information technology, Estonians played a big part in developing the now mainstream social media application Skype, which was developed in August, 2003, with the pioneering work of Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn. Also, Estonia was cited as Number 1 in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2013 by the Intelligent Community Forum. Estonia has topped the list of countries that used information and communications technology to fuel economic growth while preserving its socio-cultural heritage.
Dubbed the world’s most advanced digital society, Estonia prides itself with providing its citizens hassle-free digital services to take care of everyday necessities of life, including basic government services, education, legislation, and health care. In 2005, Estonia became the first nation to hold national elections using Internet voting system for its municipal elections. In 2007; it became the first in the world to use Internet voting for parliamentary elections.
In December, 2014, Estonia became the first country in the world to offer e-Residency to any foreigner interested in using the country’s advanced digital public services to do business from anywhere in the world.
Estonia and the European Union
The Republic of Estonia entered membership in the European Union in May, 2004, and adopted the European currency on 1 January 2011.
From July to December, 2017, Estonia held the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The council has been the voice of the European Union member governments in the areas of adopting EU laws and coordinating EU policies since its creation in 1958. The Council is composed of government ministers from each of the 28 EU countries, which hold the presidency of this council on a 6-month rotating basis.
100th year of independence
While 24 February 2018 officially marks 100 years of the Republic of Estonia, the centenary celebrations had already begun in April, 2017, 100 years since the incorporation of Estonian settlements, and will continue through to 2 February 2020 – a century since the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty.
The 100 years of independence celebration will be an occasion for all Estonians and will be marked with grand and joyous festivities throughout the country and around the world.
The Estonia 100 celebrations will consist of five different thematic stages – our land, our state, our people, our freedom, and our future.
Estonia and the Philippines
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of the Philippines were formally established on 19 December 1991.
The Republic of Estonia is represented in the Philippines by H. E., Mr. Jaak Lensment, non-resident ambassador (resident in Tokyo, Japan) of the Republic of Estonia to the Philippines. The Honorary Consulate of Estonia in the Philippines is headed by Honorary Consul General Dr. Juan N. Peña Rivadeneira and Honorary Consul Fernando Martin O. Peña.
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