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Archived Event

Estonian Political Festival: Opinion Festival (Arvamusfestival)

Date and Time

13 August 2021, 12:00 /
14 August 2021, 19:30


English, Estonian


Public Affairs

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Estonian Political Festival: Opinion Festival (Arvamusfestival)

The Neighbour Relations tent is covering topics that place Estonia in between our neighbouring countries and will try to discover how are we actually living in symbiosis with our neighbouring countries, how much do we depend on each other, what have we mutually to gain and can we create solutions on a 1+1=3 basis.

During the day, we will be taking up many different questions, such as are cultural similarities bonding us more than political interests might divide? Did the covid-pandemic sunder our relationships and will the common digital culture space open up totally new ways to co-operate? How to find solutions looking into the future where we all are winners and we nobody loses?

Panel members are coming in from both Finland and Latvia, there will be representatives from youth to employers, MEPs, government institutions and start-ups.

Come and join in the discussions at Paide on the 13th of August.

If you cannot make the physical event, you can stream the event from Facebook on the Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Estonia page, and can see more details of the tent event on Facebook: (12) Arvamusfestival 2021: Naabersuhete ala | Facebook

Please note that 3 of the 4 panels will be in English, one will be in Estonian.


Schedule of Events

August 13, 2021

Tent: Neighbour relations

12.00 – 13.30 Working Life and New Generations

Working life is facing significant changes. Covid pandemic affected most the culture of working in white-collar jobs, but not all labourers had a chance for remote working. Some professions became even a health hazard. Among the most suffering groups were young workers who had to find new solutions. What lessons were learned from the pandemic concerning working life and how to promote equality among different professions while taking care of the youth? The focus of the discussion is on systemic changes in contemporary working life. Reflections will be made on the first large scale remote working during the corona pandemic. Should similar flexibility continue or not? How do we have to adapt? What is everyone´s role in this transition?


Erik Mikkus – The Estonian National Youth Council

Johanna Vallistu – Foresight Centre, expert

Samuel Laurinkari – Head of Global Public Policy at Wolt, Finland

Kristjan Vanaselja – GoWorkaBit, CEO

Moderator: Christman Roos – Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Estonia, consultant


14.00 – 15.30 Will a “good neighbouring” competition die out our connectivity with Latvia and Finland

Surely, good transnational connections are important – they strengthen relations and unite, but not only. However, the past 1,5 years have highlighted how fragile communication between neighbors can be, both here and elsewhere in Europe and around the world. Borders are/were closed, restrictions that seemed necessary to one side and unfair to the other. From Finland to Estonia, from Estonia to Latvia.

We are discussing how to ensure sustainable connections in good-neighborly competition, where one can possible win and lose at the same time. Estonia and Latvia are building Rail Baltica, but should its northernmost point be Helsinki instead? Should we make our bets on FIN-EST tunnel, working shipping connection, or both? Who are the winners and losers in creating connections, and what is the impact of connections on neighborly relations AD2021.

NB! Panel will be in Estonian


Veiko Spolitis – Former journalist, Latvian politician and political scientist, University of Helsinki

Tõnu Grünberg – Head of Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ

Timo Kantola – Finnish Ambassador to Estonia

Eva Killar – Chief Specialist in the Transport Development and Investments Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Rain Kooli – ERR correspondent in Finland

Katrin Höövelson –Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER), European Commission

Moderator: Tea Danilov – Head of the Foresight Centre at the Parliament of Estonia

Panel organiser: Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ


16.00-17.30 Cross-border workers in the Nordic-Baltic region – possibilities and challenges

Cross-border working and immigrants in work – how does the developing labour market look like in the Nordic-Baltic region? How will the cross-border working develop after Covid and what challenges are we seeing on both ends? Will there be a labour shortage and where does the new talent come from?  What will be the potential problems and how to overcome them? How much should the neighbouring country support the mobility of foreign workforce, and how much should the country’s own workers be protected?


Marina Kaljurand – Member of the European Parliament

Sten Andreas Ehrlich – Deputy Secretary General on Labour and Employment

Reijo Paananen – Secretary-General of Nordic-IN

Tuuliki Poom – Country HR Manager in Baltic countries, ABB

Moderaator: Esa Suominen – Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Finland, Partner & Chair of the Board

18.00 – 19.30 Estonia and Finland in common digital language space

Development of technology soon allows us to understand each other regardless one’s language skills. What would it change in Estonia-Finland relations? What should we do together so that it would be possible asap? Shall we dream of a bilingual distribution of TV channels of YLE and ERR in both countries?


Tanel Alumäe – language technologist at TalTech

Rain Kooli – journalist at ERR and YLE

Anssi Komulainen – Head Of Future Business Design at Yle

Pekka Myllylä – Managing Director at Tilde

Moderator: Jaak Aaviksoo, co-author of the third report on future Estonian-Finnish cooperation

Panel organiser: Estonian Foreign Policy Institute in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs



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