Prime Minister Ansip, who delivered a speech at the opening of the fourteenth higher national defence courses, which took place today at Roosta, introduced the government’s more general and specific viewpoints on the development of national defence.
According to the Prime Minister, citizens’ will of defence serves as the most important basis for Estonia in the development of the national defence policy.
“History has taught us that simply understanding will of defence is not enough. Action is needed. After regaining its independence, the Republic of Estonia has proceeded precisely from this in the development of its defence policy. We have worked very hard for the development of a safe framework of foreign and defence policy around us. Our task is to be continually watchful and not to let ourselves be disillusioned by the thought that the work is done and now is the time to reap the benefits. In the sense, the rhetoric of “reaped benefits” is even dangerous,” said Ansip.
According to the Prime Minister, today’s foreign, security and defence policy in Estonia is facing a new situation. “After Estonia joined NATO and the European Union, we no longer have to engage in proving our existence, but in everyday actual work in areas we could not even dream about five years ago. What does this mean for us? Primarily greater responsibility and participation in decisions that affect much more than merely Estonia,” said the Prime Minister.
According to Ansip, the altered landscape of threats brings about changes primarily with regard to values in need of protection. “Above all, people, hence democracy must be protected. People’s welfare, their rights and the sustainable development of the rule of law must be protected. We have to tackle environmental hazards, refugee flows and corruption. The state-centred approach to security is in the process of being replaced by an approach centred on international institutions,” said Ansip.
When speaking of the participation of the Estonian defence forces in international military missions, the Prime Minister stressed the indivisibility of security as a value. “According to this principle, instability and disorder outside the borders of Estonia also pose a threat to us. In order to manage this risk, we must think in global terms and cooperate with the international community,” said the Prime Minister.
Full text of the Prime Minister’s speech : http://www.valitsus.ee/brf/editor/index.php?id=7171