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The Riigikogu should carry forward, develop, but also safeguard and protect the pillars of the democratic and parliamentary state that are set out in the Constitution, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas said in his speech to his colleagues at the Opening Sitting of the Autumn Session.

“This is the Estonia that is built on freedom, justice and law, this is the country of our fathers where the preservation of the Estonian nation, language, and culture is ensured throughout the ages. A country where the highest power is invested in the people,” Ratas emphasised. “I firmly believe that these values provide the framework and the content to our discussions and debates during the autumn session like always.”

The President of the Riigikogu thinks that the work of the Parliament during this session must be even more geared towards a dialogue with each and every person living in Estonia. “A dialogue about how our people cope, feel secure, how our nation would survive, about both mental and physical health, education, economy, this exhausting corona virus, and international situation,” Ratas explained.

In his opinion, it is possible to have a dialogue only if talking and listening are balanced. “I believe that this will help to pacify our society, improve relations, and increase our faith in our future. We need all this in our complicated world and in Estonia very much,” Ratas said.

Ratas underlined that the decisions made to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic had to remain a priority also in the Riigikogu. He said that the objective was clear – a society that is as open as possible and where the people’s health is ensured.

Ratas set out the construction and renovation of cultural facilities of national importance, the Education Sector Development Plan for the next 15 years and the next year’s state budget as the topics that would be discussed during the Autumn Session. He added that supported the debate and expanding of the Riigikogu’s decision-making competence in regard to the state budget. President of the Riigikogu also considers it important to hold a political debate on the procedure for the election of the President.

In his speech, Ratas analysed the alarming international geopolitical situation. “The latest events in Afghanistan and on the Belarus border clearly demonstrate how important it is to build a strong democratic state and to foster allied relations,” Ratas said.

The President of the Riigikogu spoke of the local government elections as well. He invited everybody to participate in the elections and to fulfil their civic duty.

President of the Republic Kersti Kaljulaid also delivered a speech at the first regular sitting of the 6th session of the 14th Riigikogu. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste, created the festive spirit at the Opening Sitting. After the festive part, the work of the Riigikogu continued with the agenda for the working week.

Speech by the President of the Riigikogu at the opening sitting on 13 September

Photos of the opening sitting

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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