Thursday, 23 March 2017 / Published in News

On March 13-17, ESD hosted a group of 23 Georgian civil servants form various ministries who came to Tallinn to gain knwoledge on EU approximation and learn the best practices of Estonia. The civil servants, who had been previously following an extensive training program in the Georgian Foundation of Strategic Studies (GFSIS), met with Estonian EU experts: Mr Keit Kasemets, Head of the EU Commission Representation in Tallinn; and Mr Taavi Rõivas, the Former Prime Minister, who gave and overview of the steps of Estonia’s EU pre-accession period and relevant reform experience as well as the benefits of EU memberships during the last 13 years. The visit also included a lecture on preparations for the Estonian EU Council Presidency, discussions on perspectives of Eastern Partnership, current security challenges and ICT. In addition the Georgian participants strenghtened their skills on international and EU negotiations; and met their respective local counterpast in ministries.

The visit was organised in cooperation with GFSIS. It makes part of a larger development project supported by the Swedish International Development Agency.

Friday, 27 January 2017 / Published in News

On 16-20 January a group of 14 Ukrainian diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine were on a study visit to Tallinn and Helsinki. The week was intense and full of both formal and informal meetings on foreign and security policy, international relations, e-governance, cyber security, ICT, e-voting, and the priorities of Estonia’s Pesidency of the EU Council.

While visiting the MFA Estonia, the UA delegation had the pleasure of hearing from their Estonian colleagues about the priorities of the Estonian foreign policy and business diplomacy. At the Estonian Parliament and at the ICDS, the UA delegation were introduced to the Estonian perspective on the current security challenges in Europe and its neighbourhood. Mr Hannes Hanso, the Head of the National Defence Committee of Riigikogu, and Mr Ants Laaneots, the member of the Estonia-Ukraine parliamentary group in Riigikogu, went deep into discussion about the current security situation in Ukraine and future perspectives of it.

The top moment of the visit was the Ukrainian diplomat’s meeting with Mr Sven Mikser, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. Minister Mikser underlined
the importance of ongoing bilateral relations between Estonia and Ukraine and acccentuated both Estonia’s and Europe’s continuous support to Ukraine in its reforms.

During the study trip the UA delegation visited also the Finnish MFA and the Helsinki based Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). The discussions focused on Finnish foreign policy, Finnish-Ukrainian bilateral relations and various conflict resolution cases currently on the table at CMI.

The visit of Ukrainian diplomats to Tallinn is financed by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the resources of Estonian development cooperation.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 / Published in News

Mrs Marina Kaljurand visited the Diplomatic Training Center of the Georgian MFA and participated in panel discussion Nordic-Baltic Security Cooperation: Facing Threts From Russia

On 13-17 December the ESD graduate and the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mrs Marina Kaljurand visited ESD’s project partner in Georgia – the Diplomatic Training Centre (DTC) of the Georgian MFA. In the frame of the visit Mrs Kaljurand gave a 2-day lecture course on practical diplomacy, and information and communication technologies. In addition,  on Dec 16 Mrs Kaljurand together with Director Ekke Nõmm participated in a panel discussion entitled “Nordic-Baltic Security Cooperation: Facing Threats From Russia” co-organised by ESD and the Geogrian Foundation of Strategic and Interantional Studies.

The visit Mrs Kaljurand was financed by the resources of Estonian development cooperation in the framework of mulilateral project aimed at developing the capacity of DTC.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 / Published in News

On Dec 14 Prof Egdūnas Račius from Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania gave a public lecture on „What Cultural Environment the Refugees of the Middle East come from: A Look Beyond Islam”. In his lecture Mr Račius focused on two key topics. Firstly, he argued that it’s important to understand that not all refugees of the Middle East are Muslims – a common misconception. Mr Račius underlined that, in fact, non-Muslims face a bigger risk of being the target of insurgents and rebels due to which they are forced to flee their countries. Secondly, in order to draw some conclusions on the cultural background of the refugees, one ought to understand what it actually means to be a Muslim in contemporary world. Yet, given the West’s lack of knowledge of both Islam and Muslims, there is a tendency to dislike everything related to Muslims: their behaviour, beliefs and culture. Mr Račius stressed that one should make a difference between muslimophobia and islamophobia. While the former is culture-focused hatred, the latter is religion-focused hostility.

This public lecture was organised by ESD in the framework of Estonian Network of Anna Lindh Foundation. In Feb 2016 ESD was elected the head organisation of ALF Estonia.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 / Published in News

Invited to Tallinn by Estonian Parliament Riigikogu, Mr Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament, visited Tallinn on 2nd of Dec to hold a public lecture and meet the students of ESD. Mr Welle held a short speech entitleled The EU – Preparing For The Next 25 Years in which he looked the roots of all recent crisis in Europe: financial crisis, migration crisis, reviving views of political extremism etc. According to Welle, the blame for crisis lies within the EU member states that have not properly followed the rules and regulations set by the EU. For Welle it is important to ensure the implementation of three crucial security conceptions: external security, internal security and social security, which sould be granted within the EU as well as in it’s neighbourhood.
The main message of Welle’s address was that the EU should transit from its current, predominantly legislative regime to a supplementary, scrutinising and executive regime. The EU should offer capabilities when member states’ capacities have been exhausted. This includes the EU looking the at developments on all levels of member states’ actions. SG Welle pointed out that the integration of the EU is likely to continue, but there should be no euphoria to expect treay changes as the potentials of existing treaties have not been sufficiently used and exhausted yet.

ESD students asked Mr Welle questions related to security and Eastern Partnership. The event was moderated by ESD Director Mr Ekke Nõmm.

We thank the Information Bureau of European Parliament in Tallinn.

Sunday, 13 November 2016 / Published in News

On 17-21 Oct 6 diplomats from Morocco, Jordan and Egypt came to a study visit to Tallinn. The aim of the visit was to refresh exiting relations, to generate new ideas for cooperation, to discuss foreign policy and security matters and introduce Estonian reform experience. Arab diplomats met with Estonian colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learned about Estonian foreign policy priorities. Presentations touched upon consular, business, cultural and public diplomacy as well as e-services, e-government and cyber security. The program also included a brief training course on the EU’s external affairs and foreign policy. In addition, a public seminar entitled “Perception of Current Security Threats in Europe and Arabia” too place with security analysts from Estonia: Mr Erkki Bahovski (Editor in chief of Diplomaatia) and Mr Pauli Järvenpää (researcher at ICDS). The discussion was moderated by ESD Director Mr Ekke Nõmm.

The study visit included a brief trip to Helsinki to meet Finnish colleagues at the MFA. The discussions focused on broader Northern European context.

The visit of Arab diplomats to Tallinn was financed by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the recourses of Estonian development cooperation.

Monday, 24 October 2016 / Published in News

International Forum on Diplomatic Training is an annual informal gathering that brings together deans and directors of diplomatic academies and institutes of IR accross the wordl. The forum held its 43rd meeting on 20-23 Sep in Canberra, Australia, hosted by Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. The agenda focused on challenges and opportunities for diplomacy in, what has been widely dubbed, the Asian Century. The forum looked at the big picture of current trends in IR, the regional picture of Asia-Pacific diplomacy, and the picture of a diplomat who has to develop skill-sets to navigate both challenges and opportunities in Asia and beyond.

In the event ESD was represented by Director Ekke Nõmm. The IFDT operates as a conference of network building, exhange of ideas and opportunities for cooperation. For more information read click here.
The event was opened by keynote speech of Prof Alan Hendrikson, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA. Prof Henrikson has been a guest lecturer at ESD in spring 2015.

Monday, 26 September 2016 / Published in News

On 12 Sep a new group of young diplomats, civil servants and people interested in international relations commenced their studies at ESD in the study program International Relations and European Integration. the group consists of students from 10 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Aserbaijan, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine. The program lasts from Sep 2016 until May 2017.

The studies of foreign students are financed by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the recourses of development cooperation.

Monday, 26 September 2016 / Published in News

In 2016-2017 ESD offers a number of courses in English that can be studied without passing full ESD curriculum. The student can sign up for courses most interesting for him/her. The student is expected to attend all chosen courses on the same bases as the full time student, i.e. completing all required assignments with positive results in order to pass the course. Upon successful completions the student will be given a certificate to prove course volume and results.

Prices for individual courses in 2016-2017 are:
210 EUR for a course of 3 credit points
420 EUR for a course of 6 credit points

See ESD 2016-2017 curriculum here to make your choice

For more information please contact Ms Mari-Liis Mäevere at

Monday, 26 September 2016 / Published in News

On 17 Feb ESD was elected to become for the next two years the head organisation of Anna Lindh Foundation’s (ALF) Estonian national network.
Anna Lindh Foundation is a platform that aims to bring people together from across the Mediterranean: Northern and Southern Europe, North Africa and Middle East, to imporve mutual respect between cultures and to support civil society working for a common future for the region. Each member state of ALF consist of institutions and NGOs interested in cooperation.

Since launching in 2005 ALF has supported common projects in the field of culture, education and media. ALF has national networks in 43 countries across the Mediterranean region that includes more than 4000 civil society organisations. Through its actions and reflections ALF aims to contribute to development of an Interncultural Strategy for the Euro-Mediterranean Region, providing recommendations to decision-makers and institutions for advocating shared values.

For more information visit

The purpose of ALF Estonian network is to brake sterotypes in Estonian society, open dialogue on cultural diversity and enhance co-existence of different cultures and people. ALF Estonian network consists of 17 local civil society organisations.

Contact ALF Estonia coordinator at