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Group photo of representatives from the three Baltic embassies, EANC, ALA, LAC and JBANC.

Estonian American National Council (EANC) President Marju Rink-Abel and Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey represented EANC at this quarter’s meeting with the Baltic embassies and the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) on June 25th.

 

JBANC´s other parent organizations, the American Latvian Association (ALA) and the Lithuanian American Council (LAC), also participated.

 

This group generally meets several times each year to stay current on events, visits, legislation, and other topics of common interest.


The main discussion points at this meeting were the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way (BW30), when two million Balts held hands to demonstrate for freedom, and associated commemoration events, embassy summer personnel turnovers, recent elections, and the November 9th JBANC conference and EANC gala.

 

EANC news included the new commission on global Estonian cooperation formed by the Estonian Ministry of Population, which will comprise of seven to eight Estonian ministers and representatives of Estonian societies worldwide. With an estimated 200,000 Estonians outside the nation’s borders, the commission will be a valuable resource for the Estonian government and diaspora communities to tap for mutual benefit. Its first meeting is scheduled for September.

 

Marju also mentioned the boost Estonia is about to get from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as one of the subjects in its This is America & the World series, for which EANC will be a major sponsor.

 

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Discussions in progress, with Karin Shuey and Marju Rink-Abel at far left.    Photos by EANC

 

The three half-hour segments will feature topics such as culture, tourism, trade, and some of the many areas where Estonia has excelled and can offer expertise and innovation to the world. The segments will begin filming in July and are planned to air in the fall and a second time somewhat later.


The Estonian embassy representatives reminded us of their government’s successful campaign for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term. As a result, they foresee an increase in high-level visits to the U.S. in the coming years.

 

They also announced the upcoming opening of a new consulate in San Francisco. Their current focus on Capitol Hill is tracking the progress of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $1.25 million in funds for Baltic defense, and preparing for a Congressional Delegation visit to Estonia in July.


In the near term, EANC invites Estonian Americans to take part in remembering the Baltic Way, either by coming to Washington to take part in a reenactment and other events, or by organizing an event with the Baltic communities in your area.

 

We also invite you to join us at the JBANC conference and EANC-JBANC gala on Saturday, November 9th, and to take part in advocacy meetings with the offices of your Members of Congress on the day before.

 

Information on the #BW30 on Capitol Hill is available at our Facebook event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1552815374862762/.

 

More details on the JBANC conference and associated events will be provided as they become available.


EANC will continue to provide updates on our cooperation with the Estonian embassy and significant events that take place here in Washington. Please keep an eye on these pages for new information


Karin Shuey
Washington, DC Director
Estonian American National Council
www.estosite.org

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