IRRS students visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On Friday, February 10th, our students from the International Relations and Regional Studies MA programme visited the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the first session in the new Series in Master Class Trainings took place.
The Master Class Trainings are a new series of events organised for students with the aim to offer them more practical insights into international politics and to meet with the officials, analysts and experts practising in the field.
The topic of the first session was “Estonia’s Role in International Organisations Through the Eyes of Practitioners”. During the day, students heard lectures from Marina Kaljurand, Matti Maasikas, Jüri Luik and Margus Kolga.
During the meeting with the former minister of foreign affairs, Ms. Marina Kaljurand, the discussion centred around the more general topic of why a small country needs to join international organisations and, based on the example of Estonia, how they can make themselves visible in these organisations. Mr. Matti Maasikas, Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, talked about the advantages and challenges that the small size can offer when it comes to the development of European Union policies. Mr. Jüri Luik, director of the International Centre for Defence and Security, focused on Estonia’s role in NATO and on how important NATO is for Estonia. The final lecture of the day was delivered by Mr. Margus Kolga (Ambassador-at-Large to UN), who emphasised, that if there is expertise in a certain topic and willingness to engage with it, the small size is not a constraint in international relations. Estonia as a UN Security Council member would be able to raise the concerns of small states, and of course offers its digital expertise.
Professor Eiki Berg, the Programme Director for the International Relations and Regional Studies curriculum, said at the end of the day that these types of meetings with the top officials and experts expand the horizons that might be somewhat overlooked in the regular academic milieu: “The students that participated in this Master Class Training session could receive further confirmation that their chosen field of study is practical and offers them a possibility to do great things in the future”.
Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
silver.bohl [ät] ut.ee
+372 737 6379