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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 25.04.2019, 21:15

Politico: Estonia's Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar among 28 people shaping Europe in 2019

BC, Tallinn, 04.12.2018.Print version
The international political publication Politico has named Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, first ever special envoy of Estonia on cyber security, as one among 28 people to be shaping, shaking and stirring Europe in 2019, reported LETA/BNS.

"Tiirmaa-Klaar is Estonia's heavy-hitter in the field of cyber diplomacy. She was part of NATO’s first cyber policy team, and later, as the EU’s first cyber security diplomat, she put in place measures that would allow the bloc to impose sanctions in response to a cyber attack," Politico said on Tuesday.

The publication said that Tiirmaa-Klaar wants to write the rules of cyber conflict. On one side of the debate are Tiirmaa-Klaar and her allies in the West, notably the U.S. and large EU countries, who are advocating for rules of non-proliferation in cyberspace, proposing to set strict limits on how states use botnets, malware and software vulnerabilities to attack other states and domestic political opposition.

On the other are members of the so-called Shanghai Cooperation Organization led by Moscow and Beijing, who advocate a different approach to regulating cyber conflict that Tiirmaa-Klaar says will make it harder for countries to crack down on state-sponsored hacking activities and cyber crime, while undermining protections for human rights online. Both sides have submitted competing strategies at the United Nations, where diplomats like Tiirmaa-Klaar will be lobbying undecided countries for support, Politico said.

On the list of 28 influential politicians and officials highlighted by Politico, Tiirmaa-Klaar has been featured as fourth in the category of doers. Those ahead of her include Ine Eriksen Soreide, Norway's first female foreign minister, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Commission Secretary General Martin Selmayr, who is also considered the most influential official of the European Union. Fifth after Tiirmaa-Klaar is former Ukrainian prime minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko.

The other two categories featured on Politico's list are dreamers and disruptors. The publication names as notable dreamers one of Skype's founders Niklas Zennstrom and Finnish Angry Birds developer Peter Vesterbacka, who is now involved in establishing an undersea tunnel between the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn. The most notable disruptor featured was British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who Politico named the the "Trump of the Left".

Politico considered next year's most influential person in Europe to be Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, who is also the leader of the right-wing regionalist party Lega Nord. The publication called Salvini leader of the European populists, whose goal is to reshape the current organization of Europe.

Tiirmaa-Klaar, who has both NATO and EU experience, started as the first ever special envoy of Estonia on cyber security in September 2018. The main duties of the special envoy are to develop the foreign policy of Estonia concerning cyber security, ensure its coordinated implementation, present the positions of Estonia within the framework of foreign political platforms and contribute to international cooperation in the field of cyber security.

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