TALLINN - Even though the myriad of surrounding voices may sometimes make it seem like a storm is approaching, support for the European Union is the highest it has been in a quarter of a century and most of the residents of the EU feel that membership of the union has justified itself, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said at the Lennart Meri Conference dinner held at the Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn on Friday.
In the speech made at the dinner, the head of state said the current situation in the EU is to a great extent similar to that of a submarine that has just gone underwater and due to that has limited visibility, but the power of different sounds is amplified due to the water's ability to carry sound well.
"Yes, the sea isn't the calmest of seas, but there's actually no major storm although it might have sounded that way while submerged," Kaljulaid said. "On the contrary – public support in almost all EU member states is at the highest level of the last 25 years. That means that for most of its citizens, the EU is a positive and legitimate
entity. Yes, after the UK there are no more people getting off the boat, but many who still want to climb onboard – itself a testimony that it's a good deal we're having with the EU," the president added.
Kaljulaid also said that we have a value-based system of international relations and unassailable collective defense in the form of NATO and also EU -- all this was lacking in 1939, when Estonia suddenly found itself with no allies namely due to that and thus had to made difficult decisions by itself. "Balancing between totalitarian states, a false sense of neutrality and the right of the strong prevailed over values. Therefore 1939 is a stark reminder for all of us where we will end up if we forsake our values, the liberal democratic values," the president said.
The Lennart Meri Conference is a foreign, defense and security policy conference taking place in Tallinn from May 17 to 19 and attended by various state leaders, policymakers and experts from around the world. The patron of the conference is President Kersti Kaljulaid.