Estonia’s Environmental Investment Center has provided more than one million euros for restoration of manor parks on the condition that those recreational green areas would still be open to the general public, reports ERR. The state center has supported more than 20 of the country’s manor parks which possess high cultural virtue. These are the so-called English and French gardens, some form of nature or heritage conservation. Environment Minister Keit Pentus said the public access rule did not meet with any opposition from manor administrators. The largest funding was forwarded to the Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics - 273,000 euros - for maintenance of the Olustvere manor park surrounding the school. Applications for the next grants in the program will be submitted to the Estonian Environmental Center until Aug. 15, 2012.
According to a recently published Eurobarometer survey, Estonians continue to have high confidence in the European Union, despite the current crisis, reports National Broadcasting. A Eurobarometer poll that was carried out in May demonstrated that 52 percent of Estonian residents ‘have confidence’ in the European Union, while 35 percent responded that they ‘rather have no confidence’ in the union. “Surprisingly enough, confidence towards the European Union has slightly increased, despite the constant flood of crisis-related news,” wrote the head of the European Commission Delegation to Estonia Hannes Rumm in his blog entry on Aug. 1, referring to a Eurobarometer poll that was carried out with the same methodology in November 2011. “Estonian confidence towards the European Union is all the more surprising that, by the time the poll was carried out, the Chancellor of Justice had contested the compliance of the ESM agreement with the Constitution,” exclaimed Rumm. Alongside Estonia, confidence in the European Union is also high among residents of Bulgaria (55 percent), Denmark, Belgium and Slovakia (49 percent).
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at the opening ceremony of the 70th international session of the European Youth Parliament in Tallinn on July 30 that the time for pursuing populist politics and making decisions that everybody likes, using loans, is over, reports Postimees Online. Ilves said that it is easy to demand that one state - Germany - help some other state that has borrowed too much or hasn’t been able to control its financial situation. But every government and parliament is mainly responsible to its own voters. “What should one do if the voters don’t want to pay,” Ilves asked. “Now here, in the European Youth Parliament, it should also be thoroughly thought out what decisions are possible and sustainable, and which are not,” said Ilves. The 70th international session of the European Youth Parliament took place from July 27-Aug. 5 in Tallinn and brings together more than 300 young people from 30 countries.