Estonia in the EU – Punching above its weight?

Roundtable discussion with our partners from the Estonian Foreign Policy Centre, the International Centre for Defence and Security and the Estonian Embassy in Berlin.


Kristi Raik, Director of EPPI, ICDS
Kadri Liik, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR                   
Alar Streimann, Estonian Ambassador to Germany

Chaired by

Josef Janning, Senior Policy Fellow and Head of Berlin Office, ECFR 


12:30-13:15                                Registration and informal lunch

13.15-14.30                                Estonia’s influence and image in the EU 

                                                    How to punch above one’s weight?

Estonia is a small member state that has been rather successful in ‚uploading‘ its positions and shaping EU policies in some priority areas, such as digitalization, Eastern Partnership or countering hybrid threats.Tallinn has also been proactive in the EU’s relations with Russia, the U.S. and NATO At the same time, its national foreign policy has adapted to membership in the EU and ‚downloaded‘ many issues from the EU agenda. How can a small member state maximize its influence in the EU – what did Estonia get right; what could be done better? What is the impact of domestic political upheavals on Estonia‘s image and influence in the EU?


Kristi Raik                Director of EFPI, ICDS      
Kadri Liik                  Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR 



14:30- 15:30              Estonia’s partners in the EU Coalition Building Machinery

In its currently unstable security environment, Estonia needs as many allies among EU member states as possible. Estonians are all too aware of the need to confront Russia’s aggressive attempts to restore its global power and to coerce neighboring countries. However, as the ECFR’s Coalition Explorer shows, it is not an easy task for Estonia to play an important role. Even though many European policy experts view Estonia as a devoted member of the EU, the country is not often considered as a potential coalition partner. What can Estonia do to increase its influence within the EU?


Josef Janning            Senior Policy Fellow and Head of Berlin Office, ECFR
Alar Streimann         Estonian Ambassador to Germany