* Today, at Kadriorg, in a festive ceremony, twelve new partners: the Estonian Medical Association, the Estonian Democratic Party, the Estonian Dental Association, the Estonian Union of Women in Business, the Estonian Women?s Associations Roundtable, the Estonian Consumers Union, the Estonian Union for Health Promotion, the Estonian Non-Formal Adult Education Association, the Council of Rectors of Private Universities, Foundation Estonian Children?s Fund, Sillamäe Economy and Management Institute, Russian Academic Society in Estonia gave their signatures to the Public Understanding Agreement, in the presence of the President of the Republic.
During the signing ceremony, President Rüütel stressed that the process of the Public Understanding is a unique movement in Estonia as both, organisations of the public sector and those of private and third sector, participate in it. This makes it possible to develop a dialogue between the private and public interests, which is not a direct aim of representation democracy, the Head of State concluded.
"The Public Understanding Agreement is a .......
..... dialogue, a continuously held forum of opinions. The same principle we can see also in case of considerably bigger structures. Also the European Union is a public understanding agreement in is essence, as its leading principle is the unity of diversities. We should seek the same thing in our society", the President of the Republic said.
In his speech, Aadu Luukas, Chairman of the Council of the Public Understanding Foundation, highlighted that the process of the Public Understanding is continuously open to new partners. Doctor Peeter Mardna, the representative of the Estonian Medical Association, spoke on behalf of the new signators to the Agreement.
The first Estonian Public Understanding Agreement was signed on October 20, 2003 in the Winter Garden of the National Opera House Estonia. Over the last two years, the process of Public Understanding has considerably extended its activities and has currently 61 partners. The idea of the Public Understanding Agreement is to intermediate dialogue between different groups of the society, to find common values and a point of confluence of different opinions, and to offer solutions for exciting problems.
Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, December 20, 2005