2030:
  Where Estonia Stands
Today

Where the world is today is no different than where Estonia is. The global village has suffered greatly due to the ego of some of its megalomaniac inhabitants, and so has Estonia. The inhabitants of this village have gotten much closer due to the rapid development of technology, and Estonia has been, and currently is, a major contributor to this advancement. This village is doomed for destruction if its inhabitants do not work with one another to help those who are not yet capable of self-governance. The world needs Estonia and Estonia needs the world, because the world is facing the same problems Estonia is facing. The unjustifiable Russian annexation of Ida-Viru, the usage of the internet as the means of connecting the members of the European Union, and enforcing cooperation within the middle east to ease tensions and empower Afghanistan and Pakistan with the ability to deal with their own problems are all matters that not only concern Estonia, Russia, or the European Union, but all members of the international community.

An Estonia without IDa-Viru

Estonia gained its independence from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) in 1991 and the RSFSR was among one of the first countries to recognize Estonia as an independent country. However by the time a border agreement was prepared in 1996, Russia changed its mind and decided not to officialize borders with its Western neighbour as they feared Estonia joining the European Union or North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Russia's fear came upon them and in 2004 Estonia joined both the EU and NATO. As a result, in 2005 a border treaty was finally signed and was ratified by the Estonian parliament, but the Russians withdrew from it at the last minute. In 2014, another border treaty was signed between the two nations and this time was ratified by both parliaments.

Two years later, the Russians decided to do the same thing they did to Ukraine - breach the treaty and invade Estonia. They annexed the country of Ida-Viru and used the same excuse of "protecting the Russian speaking majority" to justify their act. Though Estonia's Baltic and Scandinavian allies - Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Denmark - have cut off their relations with Russia, and Estonia's strongest ally in NATO - the United States - imposed sanctions on Russia, Ida-Viru still remains a part of Russia - even after the end of Vladimir Putin's presidential term in 2024. Estonia's economy has been affected by this annexation due to its loss of revenue from the numerous tourists who visit this region and no longer has access to the massive amounts of shale oil in Ida-Viru. Ida Viru's economy is also more devastating than ever since the Russian annexation, as Russia has not given them the same financial, technological, social, and political support as Estonia gave them. Yet again, it is not only Estonia or Ida-Viru who is suffering, but the entire world as they have allowed Russia to constantly satisfy the desires of its ego through lying, breaking promises, breaching treaties, and annexing its once-called allies. Russia has had a long history of threatening world peace, and neither the death of Stalin, the fall of communism, nor the end of Vladimir Putin's term have freed the world from this threat. Russians have proven to everyone that they have a violent mentality, that they never consider the collective interest of the world before taking action, and that they cannot be trusted. The world needs to work together to make Russia give back the Ida-Viru to Estonia and Crimea to Ukraine, and the world needs to use more radical means to fix Russia's violent and egotistical attitude so that we can be once and for all be free from the Russian threat.

Estonia's role in the Technological Gap between the EU Members

Ever since Estonia gained independence from RSFSR, they rapidly worked towards improving their technology. Starting off as a country with only half of its population having telephone land lines in 1991, Estonia became the first country in the world to allow online voting for a general election in 2007. Estonia then became the first country in the world to achieve a 100% digital literacy in 2025 by promoting its digital society as a brand called "e-Estonia".

When most developed nations were just beginning to take into consideration the possibility of governing their countries using the internet, Estonians recognized the value of this tool and were already registering their businesses, accessing their legal records, and paying their taxes through it. As a result, Estonians spent less of their time waiting in line for dealing with bureaucrats and more time working while enjoying great social services and paying lower taxes. They became a world leader in technology by 2010; in that year, former Estonian President Toomas Ilves stated in an interview that "For Estonia, the most important goal would be a strong Europe and a unified European Union. This involves the active approach of all the EU Member States – regardless of their size and the length of their EU membership – and visibility in solving the problems, which are of concern for Europe as whole". For 20 years, Estonians have been encouraging members of the European Union to increase their usage of the internet for governing their countries. All Baltic and Scandinavian states along with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, and Luxembourg have begun to use the internet  for streamlining the interactions between their people with their governments. All countries who have done so have benefited greatly by increases in their social services, reduction of their tax prices, higher digital literacy, and more innovation. Unfortunately this has created a gap in the European Union instead of unifying it as the countries who have not adopted technological methods of governance have fallen behind those who have; these countries are much slower and inefficient than the digital countries. For instance, a political election in Spain takes two weeks to occur and be formalized whereas it takes less than 48 hours in Estonia. Thus the countries who have embraced the digital age have a very significant advantage over those who have not, increasing the competitive gap between the developed and developing nations in the EU. Moreover, the UK and France - the most powerful countries in the EU - have not adopted this form of government since they do not trust the digital system and believe it will take away their peoples' civil liberties; their viewpoint is highly incorrect since all European nations who have trusted and adopted the digital form of governance have only benefited from it - if anything, people living in the digital age have gained more liberties! This gap between the EU nations has not only harmed Europe but the entire world as the European economy is no longer unified, there is political and social dissent between the European nations, and many Europeans have migrated from their once-developed country to those countries that have embraced the digital age. Technology is progressively advancing, governments are rapidly changing, and change is utterly inevitable; no country can halt advancement - be it technological, political, or social, thus it is best for all European countries to unify once again and embrace the digital age.

Concern for Global Security

When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the world did not know what to expect. Many countries blindly sent their troops to help the coalition forces fight against the War on Terror. After 29 years, the United States and its allies - which includes Estonia - are still in Afghanistan, and the invasion of Pakistan in 2020 has only made matters worse. Estonia is massively concerned over the situation in the Middle East as they initially supported the invasion of Afghanistan, and even at the time of president Ilves - ten years after the invasion -  they still supported the enforcement of security in Afghanistan. The inability of the Afghan government to battle with the Taliban themselves, enforce proper laws, build institutions, has put their country on a downward spiral and made the situation in this global hot spot worse accordingly. Terrorists have caused enormous problems for the global community by damaging the world economy and causing political instability within not only the Middle East but the entire world. Also, Afghans are the world's largest supplier of Opium and Fentanyl. Estonian youth have been suffering from their addiction to this drug ever since 2010; for twenty years, Estonia has had the highest number of per capita drug deaths due to the availability and cheap price of Afghan drugs. It is time that the worlds tops fighting the War on Terror, as there has been constant evidence that there are no more Afghan terrorists to kill; instead, it is time that all countries spend the majority of the money they spend supplying troops on educating the government on how to create financial stability, preserve their people's civil liberties, and adopt new technologies. The world should stop doing the job for Afghan government and trust them with the responsibility of handling their own people and problems. If not now, then when?

Conclusion

The international community must work with Estonia to stop Russia from annexing its former allies and give back the country of Ida-Viru along with Crimea to the sovereign states of Estonia and Ukraine; they must also assist Estonia in convincing all European countries to adopt the digital form of governance, and work together to enable the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to govern themselves and reduce the tensions in their regions. The international community must not let Russia constantly reinforce its ego at the cost of its neighbour's loss, as the failure to do so will prove the inefficient cooperation between the countries of the world and mark their inability to rid this world of the Russian threat. The EU, whose members' actions affect the entire world on all political, economic, technological, social, and intellectual levels, needs to unify once again to not fall behind the developed Asian countries such as Japan, China, India, or Malaysia or the highly advanced African countries of South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya; doing so would result in failure to compete, and the failure of the top competitors to compete would be a catalyst for the downfall of the world economy and unity within the international community. Lastly, as Estonia has constantly mentioned, the War on Terror is a War of the past, and the world should trust the Afghans with the ability to govern their own country.

Bibliography

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