Estonia will surprise Europe with a unique cultural programmePublished: 30.06.2017

The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Estonia’s 100th anniversary international programme begun with more than 150 events taking place during a period of almost a full year and a half.

Photo: Mats Kahlström

The international programme, celebrating both the first Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and Estonia’s centenary, allows the presentation of the best examples of our culture, science, entrepreneurship, and digital innovation, in cooperation with our international partners. The events will take place in more than 30 countries around the world.

The first event of the programme is the performance by ensemble U: at the Musiktheatertage festival in Vienna with their 'audience orchestra' concept, where the audience has the opportunity to control the concert performance through mobile devices. At the beginning of July, the first display of century-old characters by the street artist Edward von Lõngus will arrive in Brussels. The graffiti characters can be brought to life via smartphones and will offer an exciting experience in both urban and virtual spaces.

The Director for EU Affairs of the Government Office of Estonia, Klen Jäärats, explains that a versatile events calendar shows that Estonians will remain Estonians even when they are in Europe, by offering a programme that combines digital technologies and traditions. “Simple Session next to the Freedom Monument in Riga and the first tour of the Estonian Festival Orchestra, conducted by Paavo Järvi, will create an interesting synergy, that only Estonia can offer,” said Jäärats.
Edward von Lõngus says that his goal is to communicate with society and the worst that can happen to art is that it doesn’t speak to anyone: “I’m glad if I can set a bad example here in a good way. Art should be around us, part of our everyday lives,” says von Lõngus.

During this one-and-a-half-year period, many of Estonia’s major players are participating in the programme, including the NO99 Theatre, Kumu Art Museum, Paavo Järvi with the Estonian Festival Orchestra, the Simple Session competition, as well as many architects, musicians, film directors, artists, and even universities.

In 2017 and 2018, Estonian talents will make it to the Konzerthaus concert hall in Berlin, the Bozar and Flagey centres for fine arts in Brussels, the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and to many other renowned partners who have been of great help in the preparation of the international programme.

The three application rounds for the Estonian Presidency and Estonia 100 celebrations’ joint international programme received almost 500 ideas altogether, of which more than 150 made it to the programme. After the end of the Estonian Presidency, the international programme will continue until the end of 2018, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonia.

More information about the events taking place during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union can be found under the events section of the website The website of the international programme is The programme is open to applications for all public events taking place outside of Estonia.

More information:
Anna Lindpere
Government Office of Estonia / Marketing Adviser for the International Programme of the Estonian Presidency and Estonia 100
Phone: +372 56 463 229

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