23.04.2024 : Jean Monnet Debate – Toomas Hendrik Ilves


We are honoured to welcome the former President of the Republic of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, for our Jean Monnet Debate on the 20th Anniversary of Eastern Europe’s EU and NATO Accession, which will take place on 23 April 2024.

The conference will take place from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at McGill University in Arts Room W-120, located at 853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, QC.

No registration is required.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves was born on December 26, 1953, in Stockholm, the son of Estonian parents in exile. Raised in the United States, he earned a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and began his career as a researcher in the psychology department at Columbia University in 1974. He also dedicated himself to teaching Estonian literature and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Before diving into Estonian politics, Ilves played a crucial role in promoting democratic values in Eastern Europe as a journalist for Radio Free Europe. From 1993 to 1996, he served as Estonia’s ambassador to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Entering politics in Estonia in 1996, Ilves initially served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, significantly contributing to Estonia’s integration into the European Union and NATO. As a Member of the European Parliament from May 1, 2004, he was appointed First Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, showcasing his commitment to European affairs.

Elected President of Estonia in 2006, Ilves was re-elected for a second term during which he vigorously promoted the development of information and communication technologies, establishing Estonia as a global pioneer in e-government. His efforts in favor of democracy, cybersecurity, and European integration have elevated him to the status of a prominent figure on the international stage. Even after leaving the presidency, Toomas Hendrik Ilves continues to enrich the debate on digital security and European politics.

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