Member States of the EU Estonia
Estonia, the most northerly of the Baltic
states, regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is a
mainly flat country on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, with many
lakes and islands. Much of the land is farmed or forested.
- Year of EU entry: 2004
- Political system:
- Capital city: Tallinn
- Total area: 45 000 km˛
- Population:1.3 million
- Currency: Estonian
- Listen to the official EU
The Estonian language is closely related to Finnish, but bears no
resemblance to the languages of the other Baltic republics, Latvia and
Lithuania, or to Russian. About one quarter of the population is of
The capital, Tallinn, is one of the best-preserved mediaeval cities in
Europe, and tourism accounts for 15% of Estonian GDP. The main sectors
of the economy are engineering, food products, metals, chemicals and
Throughout history, many other nations who ruled the region – Danes,
Germans, Swedes, Poles and Russians – have influenced Estonian cuisine.
Among the traditional dishes are marinated eel, blood sausage and
sauerkraut stew with pork.
Famous Estonians include the writer
Jaan Kross whose work has been translated into 20 languages, the author
of the national epic (Kalevipoeg) Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, and the
writer, film-maker, diplomat and politician Lennart Meri.