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Speaking at the Conference of the Speakers of the European Union Parliaments, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor said that the greatest threat to the fundamental freedoms of Europeans would be when Europe closed itself.

“The greatest threat to the fundamental freedoms of citizens would be if the open Europe also closed itself. Became like those who consider our free and tolerant way of life, where each person is respected, a threat to themselves,” Eiki Nestor said. He stated that the main confrontation in today’s world was based on the conflict between open and closed worlds.

“The open world respects a person as they are. Regardless of your sex, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, political views or age, you are respected and understood,” the president of the Riigikogu said. “And on the other side, there is the closed world where the great leader is always right. Where all deviations from the standard are wrong and therefore deserve punishment. Here the power is based on an enemy image, and this image needs to be created again and again.”

“Can anybody really imagine that we could live in a society where the citizens are afraid of their parliament, government, police and army? Where the daily concern of the people is not how to live, but how to survive,” Nestor said in his speech.

In the opinion of the President of the Riigikogu, the greatest challenge for the countries of Europe is the fact that a great part of Europeans today are afraid. “It means that both the governments and the parliaments have to prove every day that the structures of executive power that guarantee the security of citizens are professional and effectively control the protection of the fundamental freedoms,” he said. “We have to understand that in this conflict of the open and closed worlds we can be successful only if we act together.”

Nestor was one of the two keynote speakers at the session “Ensuring the Security of Citizens while Respecting Fundamental Freedoms”. The Conference was divided into four sessions.

Yesterday the Conference discussed the managing of migration flows and strengthening the European Union, and today the role of national parliaments and interparliamentary cooperation was be spoken about, in addition to the security of citizens.

Full speech (DOC, 27,0 kB)


Riigikogu Press Service
Urmas Seaver
Phone: +372 631 6352; +372 50 39 907
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Questions: [email protected]