Urmas Paet

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Person.png Urmas Paet   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Urmas Paet.jpg
BornUrmas Robert Paet
Tallinn, Estonia
Alma materUniversity of Tartu
SpouseKlaare Paet
Member ofLe Cercle
PartyEstonian Reform Party, EU Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Estonian politician. Le Cercle

Employment.png Member of the European Parliament

In office
3 November 2014 - Present

Employment.png Estonia/Minister of Foreign Affairs

In office
12 April 2005 - 3 November 2014

Employment.png Estonia/Minister of Culture

In office
9 April 2003 - 12 April 2005

Employment.png Member of the Estonian Parliament

In office
2 March 2003 - 4 November 2014

Urmas Robert Paet (born 20 April 1974) is an Estonian politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Estonia. He is a member of the Reform Party, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2014 and Minister of Culture from 2003 to 2005. He was a member of the Estonian Parliament from 2003 to 2014.[1]

Education and early career

Paet was born in Tallinn. He graduated from the University of Tartu in 1996 with a BA in political science and continued his graduate studies there, but without obtaining the degree. He was active in journalism during his studies, first at Estonian Radio and later at Postimees, a mainstream daily and one of Estonia’s most popular newspapers.[2]

Political career

Paet continued his career in journalism until 1999, when he entered politics by joining the Reform Party and becoming professional advisor. He was the Deputy Mayor of Nõmme (a district of Tallinn) from 1999 to 2003.

Role in Estonian politics

In April 2003, when the Juhan Parts government took office, Paet became Estonian Minister of Culture. In this capacity, he helped launch a new theatre, Theatre NO99[3]

Paet remained in that position until April 2005, when the Parts government fell. In April 2005, when the Andrus Ansip cabinet took office, he became Estonian Foreign Minister.

During his time in office, the kidnapping of seven Estonian cyclists in the Beqaa Valley near the Syria-Lebanese border required Paet to undertake multiple trips to the Middle East in 2011; the cyclists’ release was secured after 113 days in captivity.[4] By the time he left office, he was the second longest-serving foreign minister in Europe.[5]

Telephone call to Catherine Ashton

Full article: Ukraine coup 2014/Maidan snipers

On 25 February 2014, 3 days after the 2014 Ukraine coup and 5 days after both police and protestors were shot by snipers in Kiev, Paet (in his role as Estonian Foreign secretary) initiated a telephone call to EU foreign policy spokesman Catherine Ashton. In it he cautioned Ashton that there was strong evidence that the deaths and injuries of both police and protestors were the work of the same group of snipers.

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–present

Paet has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2014 European elections. A member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe political faction, he currently serves on the Committee on Budgets. In this capacity, he authored a 2016 parliamentary resolution in favor of plans to increase European spending on military missions, as well as developing and sharing assets like helicopters.[6]

In addition to his committee assignments, Paet is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda[7] and the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[8]

In 2015, Paet nominated murdered Russian politician Boris Nemtsov for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.[9]

In the 2015 Estonian elections, Paet received enough votes to take up a seat in the national parliament yet decided to keep his seat in the European Parliament.[10]

Personal life

Paet is married and has three daughters. He speaks Estonian, German, Finnish, English and Russian.


  1. http://www.postimees.ee/314929/paet-tousis-pikimat-aega-ametis-olnud-ministriks/
  2. Gary Peach (October 3, 2012), Enduring diplomat European Voice.
  3. Gary Peach (October 3, 2012), Enduring diplomat European Voice.
  4. Seven Estonian hostages freed in Lebanon BBC News, July 14, 2011.
  5. Gary Peach (October 3, 2012), Enduring diplomat European Voice.
  6. Robin Emmott (November 22, 2016), EU lawmakers endorse joint European defense plans after Trump victory Reuters.
  7. Members European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda.
  8. Members European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights.
  9. Vince Chadwick (October 15, 2015), Slain Kremlin critic shortlisted for EU award Politico Europe.
  10. Cynthia Kroet (March 2, 2015), Reform Party wins Estonian election European Voice.

External links


Events Participated in

Le Cercle/2011Only known info about this meeting is a later invitation letter
Munich Security Conference/200920092009Germany
The 45th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/20105 February 20107 February 2010Germany
An anti-war demonstration outside described it as "Nothing more than a media-effectively staged war propaganda event, which this year had the purpose of justifying the NATO troop increase in Afghanistan and glorifying the continuation of the war as a contribution to peace and stability."
Munich Security Conference/20156 February 20158 February 2015Germany
"400 high-ranking decision-makers in international politics, including some 20 heads of state and government as well as more than 60 foreign and defence ministers, met in Munich to discuss current crises and conflicts."
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