TALLINN - President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on March 29 spoke at the opening session of the first Lennart Meri [first Estonian President after the restoration of independence] commemorative conference "Remember the Future".
The Estonian Head of State spoke about the choices facing Europe and the present and future of the Old World. "An apathetic or outright negative attitude toward the (European Union) Constitutional Treaty forces many members of the union to search for new solutions and pushes us in the direction of a core-Europe being created," said President Ilves. "There is no sense in thinking that the world's most successful economic union will stop short; the question is rather whether all its members will be able to participate equally in the European Union success story, he added"
President Ilves emphasized that a strong Europe cannot exist without the EU having common foreign and security policies. "We will remain hostage to energy suppliers, if we have no common energy policy and a common understanding of energy security," outlined Ilves
According to the President, the international community has to view Russia from a special point of view, since Russia regards democracy on its borders as a threat and non-democracy in its neighborhood as a guarantee of stability.
Besides President Ilves many opinion leaders from all over the world took part in the conference: current and former ministers, ambassadors and policymakers, analysts and journalists from Europe and USA. Among others Mrs. Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, and Wesley Clark, retired four-star General of the U.S. Army.