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Monday, 08.02.2016, 07:59
The third Estonia’s Friends International Meeting begins on July 5
|Estonia's Friends International Meeting in 2011. Photo: flickr.com|
The programme also includes a meeting with the Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, and a concert by the Ellerhein choir in Oandu water mill. This year, international friends of Estonia include entrepreneurs, scientists and politicians.
The meeting will be opened on Thursday with a traditional concert by ERSO, conducted by maestro Neeme Järvi. The concert "Great Summer Gathering: FRIENDS" is dedicated to the 75th jubilee of Neeme Järvi and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the patron of the concert.
The "Quo vadis, Estonia?" symposium will take place on July 6. Keynote addresses will be by Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford University and President Ilves. The symposium deals with the realities of post-crisis Europe, changes in global political climate and economic environment and possible future scenarios for a country as small, open and flexible like Estonia.
"Estonia has great many friends, but to this gathering we have invited those who have done something good for Estonia or whose opinion of Estonia is valued as a positive contribution to the development of the country. Our friends are opinion leaders and foreign investors as well as social, economic and cultural figures. Most of them have had earlier contacts with Estonia in one way or another, but they are now going to get a deeper, more personal experience," said Maria Alajõe, a Board Member of Enterprise Estonia.
The idea for the Estonia's Friends International Meeting came about in 2010, as a consequence of an exchange between President Ilves, prominent entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu, and the leaders of Enterprise Estonia. The gathering is intended to show gratitude towards entrepreneurs, politicians and cultural figures, whose efforts have helped Estonia to develop into a European country with a dynamic economy and lively cultural environment. The first gathering celebrated the 19th anniversary of Estonia restoring its independence and last year's event was linked to the Song and Dance Festival.