Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU has been brought forward by six months and will now begin on 1 July 2017. How will this affect the Estonia 100 and EU Presidency joint international programme?
Jorma Sarv: This change will mean that a more intense programme of events will begin already during the second half of 2017. The international programme will be somewhat longer, which will give us more time to promote Estonia internationally and with more variety than originally planned. In 2017 greater emphasis will be on events directly related to the EU Presidency, but we will also of course note Estonia’s upcoming centenary whenever possible. In 2018 we will focus entirely on Estonia 100. There will thus still be some overlap between these two important events for Estonia, but they will coincide over a shorter period of time.
What events will set the tone for the international programme?
Jorma Sarv: As can be expected, most of the events that will be held abroad during this time will be cultural – we will present Estonian music, art, architecture, film, performing arts and more in different foreign countries. We are also pleased that a number of Estonian universities will be organising events as part of the international programme. We will be able to announce the entire international programme by country and event at the beginning of 2017.
What role do Estonians abroad have in the international programme?
Jorma Sarv: The international programme events are meant for everyone who finds something that interests them. We invite Estonians living abroad to take part in the programme, since we hope that Estonia’s birthday will be celebrated wherever Estonians are. Together with the Integration and Migration Foundation ‘Our People’ we are also organising a call for projects in which Estonians abroad can apply for financing for events to celebrate Estonia’s centenary in the countries they live. We will be able to provide more information about the ‘Our People’ call for projects in our next Estonia 100 newsletter.
A call for proposals for the international programme was held this year to find the best ways to promote Estonia abroad in 2017-2018. By today a large number of ideas for events in different countries around the world have been gathered, and plans to bring the best ideas to life will be developed with the selected applicants this autumn. Part of the international programme will be announced at the beginning of next year, while events will continue to be added to the programme on an ongoing basis. The Estonia 100 team is also interested in jointly planned communication activities with the organisers of other international events that will be held during this time period to enhance the visibility of Estonia abroad. Read more about the international programme here.