Public letter of the 400

PHOTO: Rbestonia.ee

Address to members of the XIII Riigikogu and those of the XIV Riigikogu to be elected in 2019.

Dear Member of Parliament, on June 19, 2017, the Riigikogu ratified the transnational agreement of the Rail Baltic project with which Estonia adopted the obligation to construct Rail Baltic in its currently planned form together with Latvia and Lithuania. Legislation was passed based on the flawed conclusion of the EY feasibility study, according to which the new railroad would be of socioeconomic benefit to society.

Because the EY study was published just weeks before the Riigikogu put the matter to vote, decision-makers and the public did not get a chance to analyze the substantial data in more detail.

An independent analysis of the feasibility study from January of 2018 reveals valid reasons to conclude the entire EY study is flawed to a substantial degree, and that Rail Baltic’s socioeconomic effect on Estonia would be negative instead! EY inflated the benefits of the railroad by 4.1 billion euros. Data was manipulated to paint the new railroad as effective. Correcting the mistakes of the feasibility study reveals that Rail Baltic is clearly unfavorable for Estonia in its current form.

Estonia signed the Aarhus Convention in 2001, according to which all environmental matters are public. While Rail Baltic’s public discussions have involved residents of areas the planned railroad passes through, the project concerns the whole of Estonia. Important decisions have been made in secret, without involving scientists and based on false information spread knowingly.

The path that led to these unfortunate turns began in the 2007 and 2011 cabinets, when classified memos made up of false facts presented to Andrus Ansip’s government led to decisions to alter the Rail Baltic project. A series of technical, economic, environmental, and social choices that ignore Estonia’s future interests were made in 2011-2018.

Technical and economic: even though the European Commission ordered a study from experts COWI that did not find the 1,435 mm track-gauge railroad to be the best fit for Estonia, a new study was ordered from AECOM, following Estonia’s initiative, that only looked at the 1,435 mm option, use of existing railroads was ruled out and plans for its renovation discarded with a classified decision; plans of construction cost and expenses made have been classified.

Administrative and social: county plans for the current Rail Baltic version that do not consider counties’ own developmental needs were launched based on flawed primary data; the government’s decision from 2011 to study the socioeconomic effects of the new route of the project has not been executed.

Environmental and conservationist: the strategic environmental assessment is not valid, effects assessments and plan violated Natura 2000 requirements; plans do not treat with all relevant circumstances, including future use of existing railroads or land under railroad corridors.

International: the Connecting Europe Facility application’s feasibility study remains classified; mistakes found in the EY study are not being corrected and a large part of the study is not disclosed.

All this proves that the transnational agreement that ties Estonia to the Rail Baltic project was ratified based on a flawed study and false pretenses.

Esteemed member of the XIII Riigikogu!

You can create a precedent to prove Estonia is truly democratic. Repeal of the law is a bold and untraditional decision; however, it is the only statesmanlike step to take today. Let us be an example of how a law passed based on lies and under pressure from demagogy can be remedied with the future of the country in mind.

As citizens, we demand the new railroad would serve Estonia’s true needs and not become a burden for society and future generations. A good and necessary connection to Europe can be achieved much more economically and with far less environmental damage.

The truth needs to be ascertained right here in Estonia, following our ancestors’ principle of measure nine times, cut once. These measurements cannot be flawed or classified. Should it turn out, based on facts as we know them, that Rail Baltic is unfeasible, the Riigikogu or its next composition will have to repeal the ratification act from June 19, 2017.

Saddling European Commission officials with the responsibility does not befit a grown-up country. Estonia’s development and future are at stake. Our marshes and forests cannot be destroyed along with our trust in our country. The truth and faith we need to survive as a nation cannot be drowned in a swamp at the base of the Rail Baltic embankment.

Until international and independent Estonian experts have verified the Rail Baltic feasibility study and the results of said analysis are published, we, the undersigned, demand an immediate halt to all Rail Baltic preparation and construction work!

424 signatures

Toivo Aalja, Maarja Aasmäe, Arne Ader, Ain Agan, Jaak Ahelik, Viio Aitsam, Aime Andra, Eva Andreller, Ave Angerjas, Evi Arujärv, Merle Aruoja, Anu Aun, Anzori Barkalaja, Priit Barlo, Katrin Barnabas, Mall Blumfeld, Anne Daniel-Karlsen, Helje Eelma, Andrus Eelmaa, Paavo Eensalu, Jaan Einasto, Rein Einasto, Mart Einpalu, Tiina Elvisto, Peeter Ernits, Alo Ervin, Jüri Estam;

Leo Filippov, Lilian Freiberg, Michael Gallagher, Jüri Ginter, Rein Graf, Igor Gräzin, Eenok Haamer, Eha Haamer, Lehte Hainsalu, Airi Hallik-Konnula, Külli Hansen, Vootele Hansen, Toomas Haug, Urmas Heinaste, Maare-Marika Heinsoo-Kiiver, Nele Hendrikson, Markus Hess, Reet Hiiemäe, Mati Hint, Mart Hiob, Indrek Hirv, Priit Humal, Kadri Humal-Ayal, Kadri Hunt, Kaia-Kaire Hunt, Kalev Härk, Ervin Hülp, Katrin Ilison, Heli Illipe-Sootak, Aapo Ilves, Arno Ilves, Züleyxa Izmailova, Karin Jaanson, Juhani Jaeger, Heigo Jelle, Jaak Johanson, Kärt Johanson, Krista Joonas, Mariann Joonas, Janek Joost, Riina Juurik, Jaak Jõerüüt, Arvo Järvet, Markus Järvi, Toomas Jüriado, Robert Jürjendal, Mart Jüssi;

Mall Kaare, Ahto Kaasik, Tiit Kaasik, Enn Kaljo, Anu Kaljurand, Kuldar Kaljurand, Kaido Kama, Jaan Kangilaski, Mihkel Kangur, Jaan Kaplinski, Minea Kaplinski, Saale Kareda, Helle Karis, Mati Karmin, Alar Karu, Anne Karu, Helena Karu, Kaja Karu-Espenberg, Aare Kasemets, Margus Kasterpalu, Ülle Kauksi, Kulli Kavanagh, Kalle Kepler, Ragne Kepler, Kulno Kesküla, Toomas Kiho, Avo Kiir, Alice Kirsipuu, Tiiu Kirsipuu, Mart Kivastik;

Andrus Kivirähk, Indrek Koff, Are Kont, Ott Koobas, Helen Kooviste, Liive Koppel, Mati Kose, Ülo Krigul, Hasso Krull, Ilmar Kruusamäe, Kati Kukk, Toomas Kukk, Janno Kuldkepp, Jako Kull, Kalevi Kull, Mailis Kullerkupp-Jõekaar, Kadri Kullman, Mihkel Kunnus, Kail Kuresoo, Rein Kuresoo, Rainer Kuuba, Marju Kõivupuu, Urmas Kõljalg, Tiia Kõnnussaar, Toomas Kõrvits, Tõnis Kõrvits, Tõnu Kõrvits, Õie Köösel, Kai-Epp Kübarsepp, Toomas Kümmel, Kai Künnis-Beres, Liisa Küttim, Martin Küttim, Tago Laevameister, Joonas Laks, Karli Lambot;

Anu Lamp, Tõnn Lamp, Mihkel Langebraun, Olaf Langsepp, Raho Langsepp, Julika Laulik, Tiiu Laur, Peeter Laurits, Jüri Laurson, Jüri Leesment, Andrea Lega, Ervin Lega, Karin Lega, Maarja Lega, Kai Leinus, Marju Lepajõe, Leida Lepik, Sakarias Leppik, Margit Levoll, Katre Ligi, Anna-Liisa Liiskmaa, Märt-Matis Lill, Pille Lill, Enn Lillemets, Siim Lillo, Gunnar Loho, Tiina Lokk, Aleksei Lotman, Martin Luiga, Anne Luik, Viivi Luik, Regina Lukk-Toompere, Inna Lumin, Toomas Lunge, Kersti Lust, Alo Lõhmus, Asko Lõhmus, Maarja Lõhmus;

Märt Läänemets, Jaak Maandi, Anne Maasik, Ülo Mander, Heino Mardiste, Vaike Martin, Sirje Medell, Zoja Mellov, Anneli Meri, Eva-Maria Meri, Marit Mesipuu, Eha Metsallik, Matti Metsaorg, Virve Metsis, Elo-Mai Mikelsaar, Hannes Mikelsaar, Marika Mikelsaar, Raik-Hiio Mikelsaar, Ustav-Esko Mikelsaar, Valdur Mikita, Margus Mikomägi, Merike Mitt, Merlin Moondu, Kristjan Moora, Rein Murakas, Peter Murdmaa, Maret Mursa Tormis, Toomas Muru, Ingmar Muusikus, Andrus Mõttus, Sulev Mäeltsemees, Helle Mäemets, Laura Mäemets;

Tõnis Mägi, Leevi Naagel, Indrek Neivelt, Agne Nelk, Kersti Niglas, Krista Noorkõiv, Jaan Nuga, Diana Nurk, Sulev Nurme, Erle Nõmm, Margit Oissar, Ave Oit, Endel Oja, Eve Oja, Martin Oja, Tiit Ojasoo, Liina Olmaru, Helgi Maret Olvet, Kaja Oras, Mart Orav, Tanel Ots, Tõnu Ots, Kristjan Otsmann, Mari Paberit, Robert Pabson, Taavi Pae, Aili Paju, Indrek Paide, Hannes Palang, Illimar Paul, Ülle Pehk, Linda Pentus, Peeter Pere, Inge Peterson;

Lembit Peterson, Marius Peterson, Rutt Piir, Tõnu Ploompuu, Joonatan Poolma, Martti Preem, Jüri Promann, Helena Pruul, Vaike Pungas, Karin Punning, Liisa Puusepp, Andres Põllu, Ivar Põllu, Tiit Pääsuke, Ester Pütsepp, Juhani Püttsepp, Mati Rahu, Ivar Raig, Mariann Raisma, Inga Raitar, Andrus Rannaääre, Rea Raus, Inna Rebane, Siiri Rebane, Reet Rehtsalu, Karin Reinberg-Shestakov, Urmas Reitelmann, Hendrik Relve, Liina Remmelg;

Jaan Riis, Tiit Riismaa, Evar Riitsaar, Jaanus Rohumaa, Malle Roomeldi, Riina Roose, Andres Roosma, Raul Rosenvald, Toomas Rull, Tiiu Rumen, Hando Runnel, Emil Rutiku, Aivar Ruukel, Raido Rüütel, Üllar Saaremäe, Eduard Salmistu, Indrek Sammul, Enn Sarv, Hevel Sarv, †Mikk Sarv, Viivika Sarv, Remo Savisaar, Jüri-Karl Seim, Ene-Liis Semper, Kalev Sepp, Mati Sepp, Toivo Sepp, Raul Sepper, Hiljar Sibul, Riho Sibul, Mart Siliksaar, Küllike Silling, Edakai Simmermann, Kerstin Sireli;

Arvo Sirendi, Mati Sirkel, Siiri Sisask, Gennadi Skromnov, Einar Soone, Aksel Soosaar, Tanel Soosaar, Joel Friedrich Steinfeldt, Tuuli Stewart, Esti Stüff, Anto Sults, Kärt Summatavet, Toomas Sõmer, Taive Särg, Maria Zamjatkina, Tiiu Zibo, Tauri Taal, Indra Tago, Inge Talts, Enriko Talvistu, Tiiu Talvistu, Asko Tamme, Lea Tammik, Tõnu Tannberg, Andres Tarand, Urmas Tartes, Kaja Tarto, Ants Tekko, Juhan Telgmaa, Jaanus Terasmaa, Ene-Margit Tiit, Valdur Tiit, Toomas Tiivel, Olev-Andres Tinn, Andrus Tins, Lembit Tomikas, Kärt Tomingas, Hannah Lore Toomeorg, Tiia Toomet, Jaan Tooming, Kalle Toompere;

Jaan Tootsen, Ivar Traagel, Toomas Trapido, Heie Marie Treier, Agu Trolla, Uno Trumm, Helena Tulve, Jaan-Eik Tulve, Leelo Tungal, Aleksei Turovski, Joonas Tuuling, Maarja Tänav, Riina Tänav, Rita Tänav, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Indrek Ude, Kristina Ude, Jaak Uibu, Raul Ukareda, Kärt Ulman, Kadri Umbleja, Uko Umbleja, Jaan Undusk, Maarja Undusk, Kristjan Ungerson, Alo Unt, Marju Unt, Vivian Unt, Ivo Upan, Risto Urb, Emil Urbel, Ivo Uukkivi, Taisto Uuslail;

Vaapo Vaher, Jaanus Vaiksoo, Maris Vain, Eero Vainikko, Ann Vainlo, Maarja Vaino, Indrek Vainu, Tõnu Valdur, Jaak Valge, Heiki Valk, Valdo Valper, Aili Varblane, Endel Varblane, Maris Varblane, Marit Varblane, Raivo Varik, Beatrice Veidenberg, Kalle Vellevoog, Alar Veraksitš, Raul Vibo, Tõnu Viik, Tõnu Viik, Urmas Viilma, Kristel Vilbaste, Tiiu Vilimaa, Ülo Vilimaa, Ingvar Villido, Kaupo Vipp, Agu Vissel;

Peeter Volkonski, Ike Volkov, Mihkel Volt, Peeter Volt, Randar Vomm, Varro Vooglaid, Ülo Vooglaid , Hindrek Vou, Jakko Väli, Linda-Mari Väli, Veljo Värk, Airi Värnik, Arvo Ülenõmm.

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