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Competition for the honorary title “Citizen of the Year 2016” has begun

10. October 2016 - 16:36
Reti Saksa miniskulptuur „Ühiskonna õis“. Foto Kultuuriministeerium
Reti Saksa miniskulptuur „Ühiskonna õis“. Foto Kultuuriministeerium

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar announced the competition for the “Citizen of the Year” honorary title. The Citizens Day motto for 2016 is “Creating new horizons”, which implies to the importance of an open mind and that of knowledge necessary for the development of society.

Only an active person who cares deeply about the society of Estonia can be worthy of the “Citizen of the Year” honorary title. Everyone is welcome to propose candidates for the competition, keeping in mind that they must be permanent residents of the Republic of Estonia.

According to the Minister of Culture Indrek Saar, this year’s motto “Creating new horizons” was strongly influenced by the current Year of Maritime Culture. This does not, however, mean that the citizen of the year must be someone with direct links to the sea; the laureate can also be a person who has enhanced the development of the society or accomplished something exceptional for the good of the society. 

“Current times make us ask questions about what awaits us behind the strange new horizon. Uncertainty can evoke fear, which we can overcome only by gaining more knowledge. This is why this year’s citizen of the year ought to be a person who has boldly faced the complex problems of Estonia, Europe or the world as a whole, and explained those to us in a clear manner, without causing any panic,” said Saar. The minister added that calm dialogue will help us keep a cool head and reach solutions in complicated situations.

Candidates for the “Citizen of the Year” award can be submitted via the website of the Ministry of Culture, here. You can read more about the honorary title and statute of “Citizen of the Year” here

Deadline for the submission of candidates is 4 November 2016. The citizen of the year for 2016 will be announced at a thank you event, which will be held on November 21, at the Estonian History Museum.

The honorary title comes with a symbolic monetary award and a miniature sculpture “Ühiskonna õis” (“Blossom of the society”) made by Reti Saks. The Minister of Interior Hanno Pevkur will hand out Citizens Day badges of honour.

The tradition of awarding the “Citizen of the Year” was initiated in 2003, by the former Minister of Population Affairs Paul-Eerik Rummo, and this year, it will be awarded for the 14th time. Mottos and laurates of the “Citizen of the Year” award through the years:

2015 – “Muusika ühendab” (“Music unites”) – Helen Sildna
2014 – “Liikumine tervendab maailma” (“Movement heals the world”) – Ilma Adamson
2013 – “Kodanik loob ja hoiab kultuuripärandit” (”A citizen creates and preserves cultural heritage”) – Marju Kõivupuu
2012 – “Väärikalt läbi elu” (“Through life with grace”) – Krista Aru
2011 – “Kodanikuks kasvanud” (“Grown to be a citizen”) – Konstantin Vassiljev
2010 – “Tegus kodanik on riigi rikkus” (“An active citizen is the pride of the country”) – Pieter Boerefijn
2009 – “Loovad inimesed, edukas riik” (“Creative people, successful country”) – Erkki-Sven Tüür
2008 – “Eesti Vabariik läbi üheksakümne aasta” (“The Republic of Estonia through ninety years”) – Rainer Nõlvak
2007 – “Eesti riik on minu üle uhke” (“Estonia is proud of me”) – Lagle Parek
2006 – “Heast pereisast algab riik” (“A great father lays the foundation of the country”) – Andrus Veerpalu
2005 – “Lapsest sirgub kodanik” (“A child becomes a citizen”) – perekond Adamson
2004 – “Tugev pere, rõõmus rahvas” (“A strong family, a joyous nation”) – Jüri Jaanson
2003 – “Eesti kodanik on Euroopa kodanik” (“An Estonian citizen is a citizen of Europe”) – Lennart Meri


Additional information

Anne-Ly Reimaa
Undersecretary for Cultural Diversity


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