eesti keeles

The President
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Retrospective 2001–2006

Inauguration Speech on 8 October 2001

an action programme with the following key issues:
  • A long-term plan to improve the demographic situation
  • Equal opportunities for everybody in education
  • Strengthening of social cohesion
  • Promotion of the social dialogue
  • Balancing of regional development
  • Improved employment
  • Separation and balance of powers as a guiding principle
  • Improvement of the administrative capacity
  • Implementation of principles of sustainable development
  • In foreign policy:
      To focus on Baltic and Baltic Sea Region states
      To enhance the EU accession process
      To support combating terrorism
      To conclude a border treaty with Russia
  • To convene a Local Government Roundtable, a Roundtable on National Minorities and an Academic Council
  • To create a chamber for representatives of the third sector
  • To legalise direct elections of the president

Public Understanding

This is the President's domestic initiative in creating a civil society. This is the most broad-based network of Estonia's NGOs.
63 signatories.
Its target is at least a twofold increase in the living standard in Estonia by 2015, parallel to reducing social and regional inequality; in particular, it should be visible in vulnerable social groups (families with children and pensioners).
Key issues:
  • To create an environment supportive of family confidence and child development;
  • To bring education into the focus of care and attention in the society;
  • To create conditions necessary to increase welfare and develop economy;
  • To improve public health;
  • To promote rural life.

Academic Council

The Academic Council analyses various spheres of life and issues recommendations for well-balanced development of the society.
Key issues:
  • Population and public health
  • Education and science
  • Public understanding
  • Accession to the European Union
  • Rearranging of regional administration
  • Internal security
  • Foreign investments
  • Energy
  • Innovation
  • Free movement of labour
Two collections have been published: "Eesti edu hind" (The price of Estonia’'s success) (2005) and "Eesti jätkusuutliku arengu teel" (Estonia's sustainable development) (2006). An overview is being prepared under the title of "Eesti teelahkmel" (Estonia at the crossroads).

President of the Republic's Roundtable of Local Government and Regional Development

Members of the Roundtable are representatives of the Association of Estonian Cities, the Union of Estonian Associations of Local Authorities, the Association of Local Governments of each county and the capital. The Roundtable cooperates with the Academic Council.
Key issues:
  • To balance regional development
  • To strengthen democratic organisation of the society
  • To secure regional competitiveness
  • To develop local economy
  • To involve EU Structural Funds
  • To initiate a Public Understanding
  • To reform regional administration
  • Planning of state and local government budgets
  • To develop the school network

President of the Republic's Roundtable on National Minorities

The Roundtable is a standing conference of representatives of ethnic groups, ethnical minorities and stateless persons residing in Estonia as well as political parties.
The objective of the Roundtable is to work out recommendations and proposals concerning:
  • The integration into Estonian society of all the people who have linked their lives to Estonia or wish to do so;
  • The resolution of socio-economic, cultural and legal issues of aliens and stateless persons permanently residing in Estonia as well as of ethnic minorities;
  • Support of persons seeking Estonian citizenship;
  • The learning and use of the Estonian language;
  • The preservation of the cultural and linguistic identity of ethnic minorities.


The President has delivered 715 speeches. The most significant speeches include speeches:
  • on anniversaries of the Republic of Estonia;
  • at the opening of the Riigikogu Plenary Sessions;
  • on the anniversary of the Treaty of Tartu;
  • on the Mother's Day;
  • on the Victory Day;
  • On the Restoration of Independence Day;
  • On the first day of the school year;
  • At the Estonia's Successful Development Forum on 28 November 2001 and 25 November 2004;
  • At the meeting of the Paasikivi Society on 24 January 2002;
  • In the Riigikogu "On energy as an issue of high importance" on 27 February 2002;
  • At the conference "A Family Farm – the Source of Estonian Life Force" on 8 March 2002;
  • At the Tenth Anniversary of the Constitution on 28 June 2002;
  • At the forum "Business as a Life Style" on 8 November 2002;
  • On the Tenth Anniversary of the Union of Estonian Associations of Local Authorities on 21 March 2003;
  • At the Signing of the EU Accession Treaty in Athens on 16 April 2003;
  • At the Baltic Development Forum on 6 October 2003;
  • At the Signing of the Public Understanding on 20 October 2003;
  • On the Estonian Flag Day on 4 June 2004;
  • At the opening of the IV World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples on 16 August 2004;
  • At the conference "Education in the 21st century" on 16 September 2004;
  • At the conference "The Young at the Labour Market" on 8 November 2004;
  • At the conference "Boarder Changes in the 20th Century Europe" on 3 February 2005;
  • At the Club of Rome conference on 25 February 2005;
  • On the Europe Day on 9 May 2005;
  • At the Baltic Development Forum on 17 October 2005;
  • At the conference “Christian Values in Estonia's Politics” on 11 November 2005;
  • On the Day of Towns and Rural Municipalities on 16 February 2006;
  • At the conference on the Future of the European Union on 9 May 2006;
  • At the scientific conference "Sustainable Estonia" on 25 May 2006;
  • At the conference "Local Government in our Changing Time" on 12 June 2006.
The President has addressed
  • The UN General Assembly – three times,
  • 41 conventions/events related to business and entrepreneurship


Joint Statements by the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister
  • on 16 December 2002 on the completion of the EU Accession Negotiations
  • on 25 June 2003 in support of the accession to the European Union and to call on Estonian citizens’ to participate in the referendum
  • on 14 September 2003 on the outcome of the referendum to accede to the European Union
  • on 11 June 2004 appeal to participate in the elections to the European Parliament
  • on 30 December 2004 on the catastrophe in South-East Asia
  • annually on the National Day of Commemoration, 14 June
The head of state has issued statements on the following important occasions:
  • on the opening of the Convention on the Future of the European Union on 28 February 2002;
  • on the Citizen's Day on 26 November 2003;
  • on 12 March 2003 on the elections to the European Parliament;
  • on the 55th Anniversary of the March Deportation on 25 March 2004;
  • on the decision not to attend the celebrations dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow on 7 March 2005;
  • on the death of Lennart Meri on 14 March 2006;
  • on democracy in Estonia on 31 March 2006;
  • on pre-election atmosphere on 5 September 2006.


TOTAL – 2002 meetings

Heads of state - 174 meetings
Foreign statesmen - 190 meetings
Ambassadors - 168 meetings
Estonia's politicians - 413 meetings
Representatives of local authorities - 114 meetings
Representatives in the field of culture and education - 133 meetings
Business people - 125 meetings
Members of the Armed Forces - 83 meetings
Representatives of citizens- associations - 104 meetings
Representatives of other organisations - 240 meetings
Journalists - 204 meetings
Sportsmen and sports managers - 26 meetings
Religious leaders - 28 meetings

Regular meetings with
  • The Prime Minister and ministers
  • The Board of the Riigikogu and committees
  • Heads of constitutional institutions
  • County governors

County Visits

County Visits have taken the President to all the counties in Estonia. Besides the President has been on working visits as well as toured local authorities. He has visited 103 Estonian companies.

Foreign Visits

During his term of office the President has been on 17 state visits, 7 official visits and 57 working visits.
The President has opened 23 business seminars abroad promoting Estonia.
The President has delivered lectures or speeches in 16 universities abroad, including:
  • At the University of Helsinki in January 2002,
  • At the Nobel Institute in April 2002,
  • In St. John's College (UK) in November 2002,
  • At the University of Naples in November 2002,
  • At the University of Jyväskylä in November 2003,
  • At the University of Gödöllö (Hungary) in April 2004,
  • At the Centre for International Security and Cooperation of Stanford University in January 2006.


The President is the patron of 44 events or associations, including
  • The Estonian Home Decoration Association
  • Estonian National Opera
  • The First European Civil Society Forum
  • The IV World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples
  • The Estonian Entrepreneurship Award and the Quality Award Competition
  • The Estonian Enterprise Year
  • The Year of Disabled People
  • The Estonian Games of Rural Sports
  • The Training Project Look@world
  • The Estonian Rye Society
  • The Estonian Male Choirs Association
  • The Club of Estonia


The President has promulgated 846 laws and has not promulgated 11 laws.

Conferring of Decorations

The President has conferred 2817 state decorations.

Appointments into and releases from office

The President has appointed 3 candidate prime ministers.
He has made 19 changes in the government.
He has made 5 changes in the leadership of the Defence Forces
The President has appointed:
  • Governor of the Bank of Estonia
  • 38 judges
  • 75 ambassadors
The President has released 17 judges from office.

Granting of military rank

President has issued 99 decrees to grant military rank, including a rank of a vice-admiral and of four generals.


The President has pardoned 26 convicted persons and rejected 547 appeals for pardon.

Public Relations

During his term of office President Rüütel has given 736 interviews, including 540 to Estonian journalists and 196 to foreign journalists. (By October 9, 2006)
In the period of 8 October 2001 to 31 August 2006 the President has held 87 press conferences and 18 other meetings with representatives of the press.

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l