Starting today, Lauri Luht, former Head of the National Situation Center at the Estonian Government Office, will lead the Eastern Partnership Department of the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV). Luht will be responsible for the strategic management of initiatives and programs in the Eastern Partnership countries, building the office and forming the team.
“I have always enjoyed creating new value and finding partnerships, which precipitate the building and development of things that seem challenging. Having previously worked together with leaders of Estonian security, safety, and the digital state, I know that nothing is too challenging, if there is a will and if different parties from the public and private sectors link arms for a common goal. I know that in the field of development cooperation, it is possible to move mountains through such unity,” said Lauri Luht.
Luht added that he considers Ukraine’s support, development, and integration with the European Union (EU) paramount in the coming years. The safety and security of Estonia, and indeed the whole of Europe, depends on this integration in both the short and long term.
“For the same reason, with the support of our actions and good domestic and international partnerships, we must increase the stability, democracy, and prosperity of the EU’s entire Eastern neighborhood,” explained Luht.
The goal of ESTDEV’s implementation program for Eastern Partnership countries and the Balkans is the creation of democracy and the rule-of-law, security, and economically successful regions that are gradually integrated into the EU. The project portfolio of the Eastern Partnership and the Balkans includes 55 projects, totaling 8.6 million euros. 47 of them are implemented by Estonian partners, and eight projects are managed directly by ESTDEV. Projects with Estonian participation are implemented in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and North Macedonia.
ESTDEV’s implementation program in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Balkans is based on the goals of the Estonian Foreign Policy Development Plan 2030, the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Program 2022-2025, and country strategies.
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ESTDEV is a state foundation that organizes and coordinates Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid programs with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.