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The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva met today at Toompea and discussed the provision of humanitarian aid, as well as providing immediate assistance in rescue works after natural disasters and catastrophes caused by human action, and elimination of their consequences. 

Ergma expressed her recognition for Georgieva’s successful activities in the sphere that had been trusted under her management for which she had been awarded the honourable title of the European Commissioner of 2010. 

Georgieva explained that the workers of the agency managed by her act locally in hotbeds of crisis, which enables to have an immediate overview of the situation and to make operative and at the same time rational decisions in the resolution of the situation in providing humanitarian aid and organising rescue work. Ergma underlined the importance of securing the ways of finding sufficient means for humanitarian aid and rescue work in the situation where natural and human caused catastrophes are becoming increasingly more extensive year by year while the opportunities of the Western states, the main donors, to allocate funds have diminished as a result of the economic recession. The President of the Riigikogu also raised the issue of the necessity to develop satellite-based technical monitoring which would allow to assess the essence and scope of catastrophes with more precision and thereby to ensure more effective responding. Both Ergma and Georgieva stressed that, in the next EU financial perspective, the funds necessary for allocation of humanitarian aid need to be preserved in order to ensure successful functioning of international cooperation for management of crises in hotbeds of tension. 

At the meeting with the heads of the national defence, foreign affairs and European Union affairs committees, the capacity of the European Union to provide aid and the related challenges both in Europe as well as in the whole world were discussed. The Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma stressed that the greatest challenge of the coming years will be integration of the spheres of the European Union humanitarian aid and the protection of the population because historically they tend to be competing spheres but they have a great potential of complementing each other. Cooperation within the European Union and at the international level, including cooperation in the UN and with the International Criminal Court, were also discussed at the meeting. Georgieva was also interested in the readiness of Estonian people to help victims of catastrophes. 

The Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma participated in the meeting together with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, and the Chairman Taavi Rõivas and Deputy Chairman Marianne Mikko of the European Union Affairs Committee. 

Pictures of the meetings are available here:

http://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2012/Ene_Ergma/Kristalina+Georgiev/

The Riigikogu Press Service

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