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The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met with Riccardo Migliori, the Chairman of the Italian-Baltic Friendship Group of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the head of the Italian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Vice-President of the OSCE PA, as well as with the delegation accompanying him. Ergma and Migliori discussed at length the prospects for developing cooperation between the two parliaments, remarking that the parliamentary relations between the two countries should be broadened to include cooperation on committee level. Migliori was eager to stress the joint efforts in international organisations, particularly the importance accorded to cooperation with NATO, and acknowledged Estonia’s contribution to international missions.

Talking about the latest developments in Estonian economy and politics, Ergma said: “We have received a painful lesson about the dangers of continuing to live above our means. Politicians must make it their duty to not leave an indebted country to our children.” The President of the Riigikogu also expressed her sincere interest in the economic situation of Italy. The visitor cited the large debt of the public sector as the main problem currently plaguing Italy – a problem that Italy as a rich country hopes to overcome in the near future. The Italian MP expressed his opinion that there is too much bureaucracy in the European Union and that EU policies are not transparent enough. At the same time, he supports choices that would bring European economy out of the economic and financial crisis bigger and stronger that ever. “Your nation embodies a small European miracle. You have done a great job of governing your country and we were glad to hear that we had been among the first countries to recognise the restoration of your independence,” Migliori added.

Cultural and educational cooperation was also discussed briefly. During his visit to Estonia, Migliori will also donate books on architecture and Tuscan renaissance art to the University of Tartu. The visitor ended the meeting by inviting the President of the Riigikogu to participate at the meeting of the Italian and Estonian parliamentary groups in Rome.

The Chairman of the Estonia-Italy Parliamentary Group of the Riigikogu Imre Sooäär, also present at the meeting, listed fulfilment of international agreements, European economic and financial problems and the planned meeting of parliamentary groups in Rome as the topics discussed at the meeting beside the issues of cooperation. “Estonian-Italian relations are good and we have a number of cooperation agreements that should now be put to practice by fresh actions. Both countries have things to learn from the other’s experience,” Sooäär added.

Riccardo Migliori also met with the Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson and the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Taavi Rõivas.


The Riigikogu Press Service