The European Union: European Sky Shield Initiative

12 September 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, EU blog post series, European Union Reading Time:  6 minutes

Flag_of_Europe European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) is a project to build a ground-based integrated European air defense system which includes anti-ballistic missile capability. As of July 2023, nineteen European states participate in the initiative. ESSI is part of the Common Security and Defense Policy and as such is designed to complement and relieve the burden on NATO.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia – Kuressaare

30 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Kuressaare Castle © Stefan Hiienurm/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kuressaare Castle © Stefan Hiienurm/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kuressaare is a town on Saaremaa island in Estonia. It is the administrative centre of Saaremaa Parish and the capital of Saare County. Kuressaare is the westernmost town in Estonia. The recorded population on 1 January 2018 was 13,276. The town is situated on the southern coast of Saaremaa island, facing the Gulf of Riga of the Baltic Sea, and is served by the Kuressaare Airport, Roomassaare harbour, and Kuressaare yacht harbour.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia – Jõhvi

29 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Concert Hall © Medvedev/cc-by-sa-3.0

Concert Hall © Medvedev/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jõhvi is a town in north-eastern Estonia, and the capital of Ida-Viru County. The town is also an administrative centre of Jõhvi Parish. It is situated 50 km from the Russian border. Ethnic Estonians are a minority in Jõhvi, as about 55% of the town’s population are ethnic Russians.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia – Pärnu

28 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Kristian Pikner/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Kristian Pikner/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pärnu is the fourth largest city in Estonia. Situated in southwest Estonia, Pärnu is located 128 kilometres (80 mi) south of the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and 176 kilometres (109 mi) west of Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu. The city sits off the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Riga, which is a part of the Baltic Sea. In the city, the Pärnu River drains into the Gulf of Riga. Pärnu is a popular summer holiday resort town among Estonians with many hotels, restaurants and large beaches. The city is served by Pärnu Airport.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia – Viljandi

27 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

St. Paul's church © Ivar Leidus/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

St. Paul’s church © Ivar Leidus/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

Viljandi is a town and municipality in southern Estonia with a population of 17,407 in 2019. It is the capital of Viljandi County and is geographically located between two major Estonian cities, Pärnu and Tartu. The town was first mentioned in 1283, upon being granted its town charter by Wilhelm von Endorpe. The town became a member of the Hanseatic League at the beginning of the 14th century, and is one of five Estonian towns and cities in the league. The once influential Estonian newspaper Sakala was founded in Viljandi in 1878.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia – Kohtla-Järve

26 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

First oil shale lot © Aleksandr Matrunich/cc-by-sa-4.0

First oil shale lot © Aleksandr Matrunich/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kohtla-Järve is a city and municipality in north-eastern Estonia, founded in 1924 and incorporated as a town in 1946. The city is highly industrial, and is both a processor of oil shales and is a large producer of various petroleum products. The city is also very diverse ethnically: it contains people of over 40 ethnic groups Only 21% of the population are ethnic Estonians; most of the rest are Russians. Kohtla-Järve is the fifth-largest city in Estonia.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia

25 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

The Estonian Song Festival is UNESCO's Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity © A. Palu/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

The Estonian Song Festival is UNESCO’s Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
© A. Palu/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. The territory of Estonia consists of the mainland, the larger islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, and over 2,200 other islands and islets on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,339 square kilometres (17,505 sq mi). The capital city Tallinn and Tartu are the two largest urban areas of the country. The Estonian language is the autochthonous and the official language of Estonia; it is the first language of the majority of its people, as well as the world’s second most spoken Finnic language.   read more…

Intermarium or Three Seas Initiative

3 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Intermarium (Polish: Międzymorze) was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning “Between-Seas”.   read more…

Soomaa National Park in Estonia

26 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Environment Reading Time:  9 minutes

The Fifth Season © Aime Pae/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Fifth Season © Aime Pae/cc-by-sa-3.0

Soomaa National Park is a national park in south-western Estonia. Soomaa (“land of bogs“) protects 390 km², the park was created in 1993. Soomaa is Important Bird Area since 1989 and a Ramsar site of protected wetlands since 1997 and a Natura 2000 area since 2004. The national park, situated in Vahe-Eesti (aka Meso-Estonia), was created in 1993 to protect large raised bogs, flood plain grasslands, paludified forests, and meandering rivers. The territory of the national park is mostly covered with large mires, separated from each other by the rivers of the Pärnu River basin — the Navesti, Halliste, Raudna and Lemmjõgi rivers. Of the raised bogs, the most noteworthy is the Kuresoo raised bog, whose steep southern slope, falling into Lemmejõgi, rises by 8 metres over a distance of 100 m.   read more…

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