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In his address to the IIEA, Mr Ilves discusses security and democracy in the digital era. Mr Ilves outlines the threats, dangers and the imperatives for defending against these challenges. Mr Ilves also discusses the role of the European Union, which he argues is a structure better suited to confront these challenges than a nation-state based approach, particularly for Europe’s smaller nation-states.

This is the second event in an IIEA project entitled Europe’s Digital Future, which is exploring the topic of ‘digital sovereignty’ in Europe. As part of this project, which is supported by Google, a year-long programme of events and research is exploring what this concept means, and what future it might herald for the EU and for small, open economies like Ireland.

About the speaker:

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is a former president of Estonia (2006-2016) and widely known for promoting the digitisation of Estonia’s government. Mr Ilves previously served as vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (2004-2006), foreign minister of Estonia (1996-2002) and Estonia’s first post-independence ambassador to the U.S. Mr Ilves has served as chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security. He is a member of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Global Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. Mr Ilves is also a Commissioner of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity in the Alliance of Democracies Foundation.