Official visit concluded in Tallinn
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess concluded their official visit to the Baltic states today in Estonia. The day’s activities ranged from digitalisation and modern urban development to cultural heritage in Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Estonia and Norway both have highly digitalised public and business sectors, and have many interests in common. This was the basis for the seminar that was the first item on today’s agenda for Her Excellency President Kersti Kaljulaid and Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess.
There is extensive, ongoing cooperation in the digital sphere. The Nordic and Baltic countries signed the “Digital North” declaration last year in Oslo as a step in the vision to make the Nordic-Baltic region a frontrunner in digital development.
Crown Prince Haakon opened the seminar today and pointed out the many similarities and opportunities the two countries share.
"Estonia and Norway are both small, open economies. We are both part of the Single Market. And both our countries are at the top of international rankings of digitalisation. This means that we are in a good position to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities represented by digital transformation."
Estonian and Norwegian companies have come together both at Tallinn ICT Week and during Oslo Innovation Week. Today the stage was set to establish even more new contacts.
The President and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess at the Norwegian-Estonian Business Forum. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB scanpix.
Telliskivi – urban development in a nutshell
Within walking distance from downtown Tallinn is the district known as Telliskivi (Estonian for “brick”). The former industrial area has been reinvented as a centre for creative activity, with theatre and music, galleries and art. It is a dynamic environment that is home to restaurants, meeting places, modern buildings and organisations.
Several of the cultural actors in Telliskivi have close ties to Norway, as does the Network of Estonian NGOs (NENO), which plays an important role in Norwegian support for Estonian civil society via the EEA and Norway Grants.
Today the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a tour of Telliskivi Creative City, where they learned more about its activities and ties to Norway.
On a walk in Tallinn’s historical Old Town. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB scanpix.
Concluded in the Old Town
After experiencing the modern Telliskivi district, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess concluded their official visit in the Old Town of Tallinn. This is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, and figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Estonia’s culture and history and its ties to the Nordic region, Russia and the Continent are all reflected within the old city walls.
The guided walk ended at the Town Hall, centred in the old town square. The Town Hall, a tourist attraction in itself, dates back to the 1400s and houses a collection of paintings from the first half of the 1900s, many by artists who had ties to Norway.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess concluded their official visit with a press conference in Tallinn’s Town Hall Square. Photo: REUTERS / Ints Kalnins / NTB scanpix.
The official visit of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess was concluded with a press conference outside the town hall. In the course of four busy days, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have visited Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and participated in each country’s celebration of a century of independence.
Facts about Estonia
Largest cities: Tallinn, Tartu and Narva
Total area: 45 339 km2 (Norway: 385 203 km²)
Population: approx. 1 318 700 (2018)
Approx. 69 per cent are Estonians. Russians comprise approx. 25 per cent of the population.
Form of government: Republic
Head of state (2018): President Kersti Kaljulaid
Gained independence: 24 February 1918
His Majesty King Harald carried out a State Visit to Estonia in 1998.
Estonia’s president carried out State Visits to Norway in 2014 and 2002.
Bilateral relations between Norway and Estonia are close and good, with many contact channels. There is also extensive contact in the cultural sphere, and trade between the two countries is continually expanding. Some 5 000 Estonians live in Norway, and many Norwegians visit Estonia.
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.