Editorial: the likeable list of decorated ones

PHOTO: Urmas Nemvalts

Vividly, the to-be-decorated list reflects what President Toomas Hendrik Ilves personally sees as important. This year’s 99 laureates include many who could be called developers, promoters or introducers of something. These have emerged as worthy, which is no surprise – important to do things well, important also to inspire others. That’s for starters.

Secondly: remarkably, as also in 2013, the list lacks Riigikogu and government politicians. Not so every year. Meanwhile, engines of civil society abound.

The voluntary sector – the freshly coined vabakond – is pushing into politics, while existing political parties will not recognise them as equal partners or competitors. Let’s, herewith, recall the statements by several party candidates, during local elections this fall, regarding the Free Citizen of Tallinn (Vaba Tallinna Kodanik) list – allegedly a volatile coterie whose vote would go to a pre-planned winner. The other example of party-vabakond frictions was the People’s Assembly Rahvakogu, proposals by which were rather scorned than welcomed in the parliament.

Setting forth the vabakond, Mr Ilves is sending a clear signal regarding the expectation of new political powers to emerge from the very ranks of civil society activists.

For Postimees, the list brought special joy by two long-time employees – Tiina Reinart and Viktoria Korpan – being selected. As builders and keepers, true to the spirit of the list.  

In national defence sector, the orders go to builders thereof – and to missions’ veterans. Surely, participation of Estonian servicemen at foreign missions has fortified our relations with allies and underlined our will and readiness to defend. The «listing» of Kuido Külm, meanwhile, serves to recognise a vital area of national defence – as expected of an e-state, this is cyber defence.

Among the entrepreneurs to be decorated, IT sector strikes the eye. Of 22, nine are IT people. The computer scientist Vinton Gray Cerf, however, gets Cross of Terra Mariana – the highest honour for foreigners doing special service to Estonian state.

The decision by Mr Ilves not to hand out more than a hundred decorations a year, has been both praised and put down. Still, one must admit: the fewer they are, the more valuable they feel. Precisely and finely, this year’s list reflected the values underlined by Mr Ilves during the past year, in his public addresses.

For two more years, this President will be exalting the worthy ones. Hopefully, the tradition of precision selection will live on.