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At the meeting of Chairpersons of the European Union affairs committees of parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland which took place in Pärnu yesterday and today, the participants asserted that in issues of competitiveness and economic growth of the European Union, actual results have to be achieved and the level of declarations is not sufficient.

Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson considered it important that the “EU 2020 strategy” be linked with national plans and budgets as well as with the EU’s financial framework. “The EU 2020 goals cannot be achieved without real funds. Financial covering and measurable goals are needed, on the basis of which we will be able to assess whether we have been successful when the strategy will be completed,” said Mihkelson.
 
At the meeting, the need to follow a strict discipline in budget issues and financial issues in general was stressed. It was pointed out that in that regard the Baltic Sea countries have demonstrated how, in complicated economic situations, it is possible to find a way out and to lead states towards economic growth again through strict budget discipline and painful but necessary reforms. Mihkelson assured that Estonia’s transition to the euro is indeed a very important milestone in the integration of the state with different decision making mechanisms of the European Union but in terms of monetary policy it only confirms Estonia’s current balanced budget policy and conservative loan policy of the public sector.
 
The current state and priorities of the Baltic Sea Strategy were also discussed at the meeting. It was stated together that parliamentary control also has a very important role in achieving its aims. Of specific issues, updating of different communications and increasing of regional cohesion were considered very important. “One issue of major strategic importance in the coming years will certainly be diversification of transport and energy communications of the Baltic states,” said Mihkelson in concluding the discussion.
 
This time, the traditional meeting of Chairpersons of the European Union affairs committees of parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland which took place on 5–6 September was held in Pärnu. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the objectives of the states during the Belgian presidency of the EU (1 July 2010 – 31 December 2010), Poland’s planned activities during the Polish presidency of the EU in the second half of the coming year, opportunities to ensure economic growth and competitiveness of the European Union and issues of parliamentary control of European security and defence policy activities.
 
The meeting was organised on the invitation of Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson with participation by Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Chairwoman of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima of Latvia Vaira Paegle, Vice Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee of the Sejm of Poland Andrzej Gałażewski and Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee of the Senate of Poland Senator Edmund Wittbrodt. There was also a meeting with mayor of Pärnu Toomas Kivimägi.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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