Arctic Circle VIRTUAL

Estonia in the Arctic Council? What can it offer?

January 14th 2021

02:00 PM GMT / 09:00 AM EDT

Estonia submitted an application for observer status in the Arctic Council on November 9.

President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid discussed the application, what Estonia can offer the Arctic and answered questions from the audience.

Moderated by H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chairman Arctic Circle, President of Iceland 1996-2016

Kersti Kaljulaid

President Kaljulaid is a supporter of a non-restrictive legal space for the ongoing digitalization of economies and governments. She is an active promoter of sustainability and halting climate change. She advocates for publicly speaking up against violence and for giving a voice to those affected by it.

In 2016 Kersti Kaljulaid was elected President of the Republic of Estonia. Previously she served from 2004 to 2016 as a member of the European Court of Auditors. Kersti Kaljulaid was the CFO and CEO of the Iru Power Plant of the state-owned energy company Eesti Energia from 2002 to 2004. From 1999 to 2002, Kersti Kaljulaid was Prime Minister Mart Laar's Economic Advisor. She graduated from the University of Tartu in 1992 in the field of genetics in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and completed her master's studies in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in 2001.

Kersti Kaljulaid led the Estonian campaign to UN Security Council 2020–2021, she is also a co-chair of UN High-Level Steering Group „Every Woman Every Child“, member of the World Bank’s Advisory Panel for the World Development Report 2021 and member of the European Council on Foreign Relations Council.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson will be moderating this event. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson served as President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; elected five times in nationwide elections. Previously, he was Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He now serves as Chairman of the Arctic Circle.


All questions directed to President Kaljulaid were posted by participants, either before or during the event.

Estonia: the Arctic's Inventive Neighbour

Learn about why Estonia is an aspiring Arctic Council Observer State.

Reading Material

Arctic Today: Estonia officially applies for Arctic Council Observer Status

The Barents Observer: Northernmost non-Arctic State knocks on the Arctic Council door

Over the Circle: Estonia's Arctic Thinking

ICDS: The Arctic Close to Estonia is Changing


Estonia as Aspiring Arctic Council Observer State: Promoting Smart Solutions