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At today’s meeting of the European Union Affairs Committee and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia Samuel Žbogar, development of the foreign service of the European Union, the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and developments in Ukraine, Byelorussia and Georgia were discussed. The discussion also touched on issues important for Estonia, such as possible adoption of the euro in 2011 and establishing of the IT agency.

The parties emphasised the need to develop common positions on what the foreign service of the European Union should be like. It is in the interests of both countries to have a service which would ensure representation of their interests in the countries where they have no embassy. Estonian and Slovenian diplomats involved the foreign service of the European Union might also have an important role in that.

Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson gave an overview of Estonia’s positions in the relationships with Byelorussia, Ukraine and Georgia. The near perspectives of the relations of Russia and the European Union were also discussed. Mihkelson confirmed that the European Union should not forget the problems of Georgia when new issues emerge in foreign relations, and it should continue to offer the help necessary for reforms in Ukraine.

 In addition, the issues of climate change were mentioned and the importance of preservation of biological diversity was stressed. In this regard, in the opinion of the parties, much could be done by reforming the European Union common agricultural policy whereby attention would also be paid to small producers.

When speaking about establishing of the European Union IT agency, Samuel Žbogar confirmed his support to it being established in Tallinn.

In answer to Samuel Žbogar’s question about Estonia’s preparations for accession to the euro zone, Chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the EU Affairs Committee Taavi Rõivas gave a thorough overview. Member of the EU Affairs Committee Aleksei Lotman spoke in more detail about problems related to the environment and energy.