Thursday, 24 August 2017

Estonian issues: Charlottesville, collective memory and technology

As Estonia takes over the EU presidency, we talk on this week's podcast about two issues central to the Baltic country - technology and historical memory. 


As the US grapples with how to deal with statues celebrating civil war leaders of the South, this week we take a look at how Eastern Europe has dealt with statues celebrating past dictatorships and secessionist movements.

Europe this week marked the Day of Remembrence for the Victims of Stalinism and Naziism. How does this remembrance differ from the way that the legacy of slavery is dealt with in the United States?

Estonia has its own tricky issues with statues celebrating its Soviet and Russian past. Since gaining independence, the country has been tearing down monuments to Soviet and Russian leaders, and changing place names. But this has not gone down well with the 25% of the country that is ethnic Russian, many of whom say they are erasing Estonia's history.

How can governments deal with statues that cause offense to one part of the population, but are seen as a proud reminder of a now-defeated history by others? 

In the second half of our discussion, we talk about Estonia's ambitious agenda to transform EU tech policy, which up till now has been largely dominated by a privacy-obsessed Germany. 

Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the European Union. But in Brussels, the technology debate has been dominated by large incumbent companies that are often more interested in stifling innovation than fostering it. Can tiny Estonia be heard over the loud voice of Berlin?

All this and more in this weeks podcast. To subscribe, visit the Apple Store here.

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