TALLINN - Alar Karis, who took the oath of office before parliament as the new president of Estonia on Monday, said that the preamble of the Estonian Constitution contains the genetic code of the Estonian state.
Those early decades of the last century, in which Estonians' parliament was built at a remarkable speed, also delivered principles that have been enshrined in the preamble of every Estonian Constitution, regardless of our political twists and turns, Karis said in his speech before the Riigikogu.
"It states that the country we share is founded on liberty, justice, and law, which is for the defense of internal and external peace, and is a pledge to present and future generations for their social progress and general welfare," Karis said. "Those words are the genetic code of the Estonian state."
Karis stressed that the defense of internal and external peace is an instruction, a task, and remembering it must be a daily duty for each and every one of us.
"All else comes only later -- even the preservation of the Estonian nation and culture through the ages," he said. "Internal peace is not the consolidation, disparagement, or trampling of differing beliefs. Rudeness and insults are reprehensible, and I will not refrain from reiterating it."
Karis said that words are imperative tools in his work as well, as is the ability to patiently listen and attentively take note.
Describing the parliament as also an assembly of consensuses and compromises, and of oppositions, the new president said that, at the same time, one should be concerned when legislators do not hear or listen to one another, when doors are slammed, when words turn to noise, when votes lack substance, and the natural framework of politics is thereby torn.
"When this happens, the words spoken here are meaningless, excessive, or meant simply to provoke, amass, and bury what truly matters. That is when people start to think that politics is devoid of substance and meaning," he said.
"What I do hope to see more of, however, are debates and discussions in the Riigikogu and Estonian society; the defense of one's own standpoints and hearing out of others'. No matter whether the topic is the climate and green transition, energy and tax policies, the budget and forestry, or the European Union's choices and the development of our military. No topic is taboo. Dogmas and bureaucratic political correctness fetter the freedom of thought, without which we cannot achieve solutions that will lead us forward," Karis said.
In his speech, Karis also acknowledged and thanked all the presidents of Estonia of the period since the country regained its independence.