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After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Estonia
Conventional short form Estonia
Local long form Eesti Vabariik
Local short form Eesti
Former
Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type
Parliamentary republic

Capital
Name Tallinn
Geographic coordinates 59 26 N, 24 43 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond); Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
Note
Counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses

Independence
20 August 1991 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)

National holiday
Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution
Adopted 28 June 1992

Legal system
Civil law system

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Toomas Hendrik ILVES (since 9 October 2006)
Head of government
Prime Minister Andrus ANSIP (since 12 April 2005)
Cabinet
Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
Elections
President elected by Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two-thirds of the votes after three rounds of balloting in the Parliament, then an electoral assembly (made up of Parliament plus members of local councils) elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the largest number of votes; election last held on 29 August 2011 (next to be held in the fall of 2016); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
Election results
Toomas Hendrik ILVES reelected president; parliamentary vote - Toomas Hendrik ILVES 73, Indrek TARAND 25

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 6 March 2011 (next to be held in March 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - Estonian Reform Party 28.6%, Center Party of Estonia 23.3%, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 20.5%, Social Democratic Party 17.1%, Estonian Greens 3.8%, Estonian People's Union 2.1%, other 4.6%; seats by party - Estonian Reform Party 33, Center Party 26, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 23, Social Democratic Party 19

Judicial branch
Supreme Court (chairman appointed for life by Parliament)

Political parties and leaders
Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) [Edgar SAVISAAR]; Estonian Greens (Rohelised) [Aleksander LAANE]; Estonian People's Union (Rahvaliit) [Andrus BLOK]; Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) [Andrus ANSIP]; Social Democratic Party [Sven MIKSER]; Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) [Urmas REINSALU]

International organization participation
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Marina KALJURAND
Chancery
2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 588-0101
FAX [1] (202) 588-0108
Consulate(s) general New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Michael C. POLT
Embassy Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
Mailing address Use embassy street address
Telephone [372] 668-8100
FAX [372] 668-8265

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white; various interpretations are linked to the flag colors; blue represents faith, loyalty, and devotion, while also reminiscent of the sky, sea, and lakes of the country; black symbolizes the soil of the country and the dark past and suffering endured by the Estonian people; white refers to the striving towards enlightenment and virtue, and is the color of birch bark and snow, as well as summer nights illuminated by the midnight sun

National symbol(s)
Barn swallow, cornflower

National anthem
Name
"Mu isamaa, mu onn ja room" (My Native Land, My Pride and Joy)
Lyrics/music
Johann Voldemar JANNSEN/Fredrik PACIUS
Note
Adopted 1920, though banned between 1940 and 1990 under Soviet occupation; the anthem, used in Estonia since 1869, shares the same melody with that of Finland but has different lyrics


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  Estonia (Tallinn):


  GPS points from Estonia (Tallinn)

Ulila Jogi Estonia (general)

Nemme Laane-virumaa

Kamari Jogevamaa

Tori Asundus Jarvamaa

Kabrametsa Khaapsaluskiy Rayon

Laidu Saaremaa

Epa Parnumaa

Koue Harjumaa




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