State visit to Estonia
At the invitation of President Kersti Kaljulaid, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be paying a state visit to the Republic of Estonia on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June 2018. The royal couple will be accompanied by foreign minister Stef Blok.
The state visit to Estonia will follow on from the state visit to the Republic of Latvia (11 and 12 June) and will be followed by a state visit to the Republic of Lithuania (13 and 15 June).
Focus on partnerships
The programme will focus on the long-standing historical ties between the Netherlands and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which date back to the fourteenth century, and the close bilateral ties they enjoy today. The Netherlands’ relationship with all three countries today is characterised by strong partnerships in peace, security and prosperity, within the framework of the European Union and NATO in particular.
Parallel to the state visits, separate economic programmes will explore the potential for expanding economic partnerships. In Estonia the focus will be on digital innovation in agriculture, as well as on the digital society, privacy and cybersecurity. Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten and State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops will be present for the themed programme components.
The visits are taking place in the year in which Latvia and Estonia celebrate 100 years of independence, and Lithuania 100 years of regained independence. The independence celebrations and the importance of independence for the three host countries will feature on all three visits.
Tuesday 12 June
The state visit will begin in Tallinn with a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Kadriorg Park. After meeting with President Kaljulaid, the royal couple will plant an oak tree in the park to mark 100 years of independence and lay a wreath at the Estonian War of Independence memorial. The King and Queen will then meet with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in the Stenbock House before visiting the Riigikogu (or parliament of Estonia), where they will speak with the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor. The first day of their visit will end with a state banquet in Keila-Joa Castle.
Wednesday 13 June
The theme of the second day’s programme will be digital society, privacy and cybersecurity, and will start at the e-Estonia Showroom. Estonia has a great deal of expertise and experience in digitisation. The King and Queen, Mr Blok, Ms Schouten and Mr Knops will attend presentations on using digital signatures, protecting digital identity and online voting. There will then be a meeting with the director of the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), an international military organisation focusing on technology, strategy, operations and legislation.
After a short walk through the historical centre of Tallinn accompanied by President Kaljulaid, the royal couple will attend a themed session on agro innovation. The objective of the meeting is to establish a long-term bilateral partnership on digital innovation and the sustainable use of natural resources in agriculture. Ms Schouten will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on sustained bilateral partnership between governments on digital agricultural innovation.
Following a reception with representatives of the Dutch community in Estonia, the King and Queen will visit the Kumu Art Museum and view the major exhibition ‘Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe’. The exhibition, which marks 100 years of Estonian independence, includes two items from Dutch collections (one from the Mauritshuis). The state visit to Estonia will conclude with a farewell ceremony at the Presidential Palace, after which the royal couple will travel to Vilnius for their state visit to Lithuania.