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Estonia’s place among Nordic countries was discussed at international conference

24.08.2016  11:18
On 23 August 2016 the conference "Estonia AND the Nordic countries—Estonia AS a Nordic country?", dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Estonia’s re-independence, took place at the Art Museum of Estonia.

The conference focused on the narrative of Estonia as a Nordic country, its historical background and real perspectives. Authors of the best works of the preceding essay and photography contest on the same topic were also awarded at the conference. The patron of the contests was President of the Republic Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Researchers from Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark participated in the conference. Professor Stein Kuhnle of the University of Bergen discussed the shaping of the Nordic identity in historical context. Mart Kuldkepp of the University of London gave an overview of how the idea of Estonia as a Nordic country has come to be and what are its historical roots.

The similarities and differences between the values of Nordic countries and Estonia were be analysed by Professor Bi Puranen of the World Values Survey Association and the Institute for Future Studies in Sweden and Professor Anu Realo of the University of Tartu and the University of Warwick.

Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark described how to measure happiness and how happiness is used as an indicator of process in politics. He also analysed why Nordic countries are doing so well in world happiness rankings.

Meik Wiking (Photo: Embassy of Denmark)

The newly elected UT Professor of Liberal Arts and writer Valdur Mikita reflected on Estonians’ sense of nature and its specialties compared to other nations.

The day ended with a panel discussion focussing on matters of personal happiness and societal well-being in the shared Nordic-Baltic region. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand, Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski, Member of the European Parliament and UT Professor Marju Lauristin and Åbo Academy University Professor Mikko Lagerspetz talked about political decisions and possible future visions. The discussion was moderated by Head of UT Centre for Ethics Margit Sutrop.

The conference was opened by Minister of Education and Research Jürgen Ligi and Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia Christer Haglund.

The conference was organized by UT Centre for Ethics in cooperation with Nordic Council of Ministers, Embassy of Norway, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Finland, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Programme of the conference

Review the conference online:
I session:
II session:
III sessoon: