Edward Lucas – a sharp pencil, our first e-resident, defender of democracy in Europe

Globaalne eestlane Edward Lucas.001

“Estonia has a great gift for PR in some things and you’re very good at getting your message across, but only when it’s on your terms and you’re not good at dealing with criticism and you tend to say that it’s just stupid.”

Welcome to the 30th episode of the podcast. Every tenth episode we make is special in that we talk to someone who is either of Estonian descent or is a big friend of Estonia who is contributing to the success of Estonia. If you haven’t listened to our previous special episode #10 with Jenik Radon or episode #20 with Steve Jürvetson, make sure to catch up on them.

My guest today is a British journalist Edward Lucas, who is widely known for his work as senior editor at The Economist. Mr. Lucas is an expert in energy, intelligence and cyber-security issues, he has covered Central and Eastern Europe for more than 20 years. He is also a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).

In this podcast, you’ll hear us focus on a variety of thought-provoking topics:

  • Why shouldn’t we use the term “post-Soviet”?
  • What does he think are key aspects of communication when you talk about a big, unfathomable things?
  • What does he think are the potentials of the Estonian e-residency concept at a larger scale?
  • What have Estonians done right, and where can be do better?
  • What are some of the things that we should learn from other countries?
  • What current developments in society worry him, and how should humanity address them?

This episode was recorded on November 16, 2017 over Skype between London, UK and Sunnyvale, California. Enjoy the show!

Kuula iTunesis

Quotes

“So I grew up with this idea that the Cold War was really important; that the Eastern Europe wasn’t really Eastern; that it wasn’t really different from Western Europe, and that it was unlucky; and that it is our moral duty to do everything we could to try and liberate these countries from Soviet occupation and from communism.”

“I don’t really like the phrase of post-Soviet. I think that there’s very little that Estonia has in common with Tajikistan or Kosovo, they always were very different countries and the common misfortune of Soviet rule shouldn’t be the defining characteristic.”

“These big anniversaries are a very good chance to look back and say what did we get wrong.
/…/ I think that you’ve got to take the lesson of collective security very seriously – it’s the number one point from the 1920-30s.”

“Obviously NATO membership is very important, and the EU membership is very important, and as I always like to point out that Estonia is the only country which is a member in both those organisations and meets all their rules.”

“The politicians and the media, the academics and the business people, the finance people – everyone talks to each other and I think there’s quite a high level of trust within Estonia and that’s a very important feature of national security.”

“The Estonians can quite justly say “we told you so”. We had this in the Lennart Meri speech in 1994 in Hamburg, a very important speech /…/ telling western countries to get their act together and I wish they’d listened.”

“What Estonia has done very successfully is to create a robust system for identity assurance and for the authentications of decisions /…/ and behind that there’s a second thing that is very important which is the X-road or cross road which is the way that Estonia stitches together all its databases.”

“Estonia has a great gift for PR in some things and you’re very good at getting your message across, but only when it’s on your terms and you’re not good at dealing with criticism and you tend to say that it’s just stupid.”

“You need to turn the birth rate turn around /…/ You should be putting whatever needs to happen about the maternity pay – a guaranteed return to the workplace, early retirement, all the financial, social and other incentives you can to encourage women to have two or more children.”

Books

Anne Appelbaum – “Gulag: A history
Anne Applebaum – “Iron Curtain
Anne Applebaum – “Red Famine
Timothy Syder – “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
Josef Škvorecký – “The Engineer of Human Souls
Czesław Miłosz – “The Captive Mind
Evelyn Waugh – “The Sword of Honour Trilogy