In order to conduct international relations, the Riigikogu forms delegations. The mandate of a delegation lasts for four years, i.e. as long as the mandate of the Riigikogu. Draft resolutions for forming delegations are presented by the Foreign Affairs Committee, to whom delegations present a report on their activities at least once a year.
Members of delegations
Members of delegations and, if necessary, also alternate members are appointed by a Resolution of the Riigikogu. Proposals on whom to appoint to a delegation are made to the Foreign Affairs Committee by the factions of the Riigikogu. These proposals are made on the basis of the faction members’ professional training, language skills and willingness to fulfil the duties of a member of a delegation. In order to preserve the consistency of international relations, it is also important whether a member of a faction has belonged to a specific delegation before.
Work in delegations
Each delegation has a specific role that is determined by the international organisation it belongs to. For example, the parliaments of every Baltic state appoint 12–20 of their members to the Baltic Assembly.
Every member of the Baltic Assembly works in one of its six committees:
- Legal Affairs and Security Committee
- Economics, Energy and Innovation Committee
- Natural Resources and Environment Committee
- Welfare Committee
- Education, Science and Culture Committee
- Budget and Audit Committee
Is a delegation always necessary?
The Riigikogu takes part in the work certain parliamentary organisations without forming a delegation. For example, the Estonian group in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) consists of all the members of the Riigikogu. They elect the heads of the Estonian IPU group: the president and two vice-presidents. The members of the Riigikogu who are to take part in IPU events (assemblies, conferences, etc.) are appointed on a case-by-case basis. This is done with respect to the balance of political views, the representation of genders and the agenda of the event.
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