Visit to the Estonian Embassy

On 16th of February, BASIS’ Europe Committee  invited International Studies students  to their very first event of 2023. The event in question was a student visit to the Estonian Embassy in The Hague, hosted by none other than the Estonian Ambassador, his excellency Lauri Kuusing. Without skipping a beat, I quickly signed up for the event and was able to land myself a spot. The visit took place on 21st of February, a significant date as it is just three days away from Estonia’s Independence Day and the start of the war in Ukraine. The visit gave participants unique and valuable insights into the dynamics of modern European politics and international relations, a truly remarkable opportunity for anyone lucky enough to attend the event.

Being a formal event, everybody was asked in advance to dress up accordingly and bring with themselves a valid ID. At 15:00 sharp, we all met in front of the embassy before being greeted by one of the Ambassador’s colleagues and were invited in. After heading to the room where the event took place, we were given a warm welcome by the Ambassador, who offered tea, coffee and Estonian candies to the participants before the start of the event. Following a short introductory speech by the Europe Committee’s President João Oliveira, thanking the Ambassador for his hospitality and for giving students such an opportunity, a discussion was followed, chaired by Europe Committee’s External Relations Manager Maja. 

Przybyszewska asked his excellency questions from a wide range of relevant and note-worthy topics. These included Estonia’s digitalization, which since the 1990s has been progressing at a considerable pace, a phenomenon not often talked about.The Ambassador explained that, most of Estonia’s public services have been digitized, including but not limited to voting in national elections since 2005. Other questions included Estonia’s role within the European Union and its role within the framework of European security, especially since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine. Indeed, the topic was of pressing importance that day given the proximity of the date of the embassy visit to the start of the war. After the discussion was over, the floor was given to the students to ask questions to his excellency to provide further insights into the topics previously discussed and/or other matters. 

Once the Q&A session was over, the event was concluded and João Oliveira thanked the Ambassador on behalf of everybody present at the event, and a group photo of the participants with the Ambassador was taken before bidding our farewell to his excellency Lauri Kuusing. As soon as the participants were outside the embassy, thoughts on the visit were exchanged. Needless to say, the event was a wonderful and insightful experience, and that is to put it lightly. 

By: Antonio Righetti




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