Urmas Paet

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Urmas Paet
Urmas Paet.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
3 November 2014
26th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 April 2005 – 3 November 2014
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
Taavi Rõivas
Preceded by Rein Lang
Succeeded by Keit Pentus-Rosimannus
Personal details
Born (1974-04-20) 20 April 1974 (age 42)
Tallinn, Estonia
Political party Reform Party
Alma mater University of Tartu

Urmas Paet (born 20 April 1974) is an Estonian politician who was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia from 2005 to 2014. He is a member of the Estonian Reform Party. In September 2010, Paet became the longest serving minister since the re-establishment of Estonian independence.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

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[edit]

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

Role in Estonian politics[edit]

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 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]

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–present[edit]

Paet has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2014 European elections. A member of the ALDE (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) political faction, he currently serves on the Committee on Budgets.

In addition to his committee assignments, Paet is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda[6] and the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[7]

In 2015, Paet nominated murdered Russian politician Boris Nemtsov for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.[8]

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.[9]

Personal life[edit]

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. ^ Members European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda.
  7. ^ Members European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights.
  8. ^ Vince Chadwick (October 15, 2015), Slain Kremlin critic shortlisted for EU award Politico Europe.
  9. ^ Cynthia Kroet (March 2, 2015), Reform Party wins Estonian election European Voice.

External links[edit]

Media related to Urmas Paet at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Vilja Savisaar-Toomast
Elder of Nõmme
Succeeded by
Hanno Pevkur
Preceded by
Margus Allikmaa
Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Raivo Palmaru
Preceded by
Rein Lang
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Keit Pentus-Rosimannus