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picture News March, 5 2021
image: The first 93 years - From East to North The first 93 years - From East to North SCCE continues the tradition of celebrating Vabariigi Aastapäev - Estonia's Independence Day. In 2011 we commemorate the 93rd Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and this year's February 22nd reception was arranged in cooperation with NCM - the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Tallinn and the Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Estonia.

In his welcome speech, Berth Sundström, the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office new Director, reminded the participants that twenty years have now passed since the NCM office was opened in Tallinn.

- As President Ilves stated in Stockholm and Uppsala in connection with his recent State Visit to Sweden, it is time that we small nations in the North see our similarities in a post-crisis Europe where lines are no longer drawn between the East and the West but rather between North and South Europe, said Jan Palmstierna, Ambassador of Sweden in Estonia.

- Already in 1999 President Ilves said that ‘Estonia is a Nordic country'. The main message in Stockholm was thus, that in the 93 years that have passed since the first independence, Estonia has moved from east through west to north. Therefore the motto for today's celebrations is: From East to North, concluded Ambassador Palmstierna.

- A bit more than twenty years ago, I had just flown in to Tallinn from Moscow with what seemed an impossible task, said Uffe A. Balslev, Ambassador of Denmark in Estonia. The task was to assist in finding and renting premises for opening an Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers.... in all three Baltic capitals and within only five working days!

- It was only a week after the bloody events at the TV tower in Vilnius and a similarly worrying confrontation in Riga culminated with the loss of seven more lives at the hand of armed units of the Soviet government.

- Due to the untiring and fervent support from the new Estonian Government and Tallinn City authorities, the mission of finding both office space and an apartment for the new office director was successful. The opening of the office was an important political event. Not only because of the Nordic solidarity with Estonia's liberation struggle it signified but perhaps even more because it heralded the convergence of the five Nordic governments' policies vis-à-vis the Baltic independence struggle, underlined Ambassador Balslev.

1991 was a dramatic year and focus, the magazine of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Estonia, will this year look back at the events that led to Estonia's declaration of restored independence August 20th and the December collapse of the Soviet Union twenty years ago.


SCCE Ombudsman
Kristiina Sikk

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· From East to North

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