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The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Icelandic parliament discussed topical European Union issues. 

The members of the Committee, led by its Chairman Árni Thór Sigurdsson, took a vivid interest in European Union issues. Ergma talked about various aspects of Estonia’s accession, stressing the positive effect of membership on the development of the country, particularly on the updating and developing of the infrastructure. Another topic concerned ensuring the protection of a country’s interests during its accession negotiations and the consequent accession process. ”Estonians know that Iceland was the first country in the world to recognise the restoration of our independence. It is a great joy for us to support Iceland in its integration into the EU“, the President of the Riigikogu told the guests. European Union solidarity principles that help to overcome possible crises more efficiently were also under discussion. „Estonia is a firm supporter of the solidarity principle and ready to contribute its share. But international support must go hand in hand with decisive action and reforms in the affected state itself“, Ergma remarked. There was an exchange of ideas on issues of parliamentary structure and the organisation of its activities. Visitors expressed an interest in the functioning of the e-parliament.
The Icelandic delegation met with the European Union Affairs Committee whose Vice Chairman Marianne Mikko summarised the role of the parliament in the EU accession process. Mikko stressed the importance of the parliamentary control over the activities of the government, and the need to guide these activities. Mikko stressed that the government must receive a mandate from the European Union Affairs Committee before deciding in key issues of the Union.
The visitors summarised the political and economic situation in Iceland and assured that the state is once again on the upward curve.
The visitors from Iceland met with members of the Economic Affairs Committee today.
The joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Riigikogu and the Icelandic parliament discussed the impact of the European Union membership on the Estonian foreign policy, as well as the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union.
The members of the Committee, led by its Chairman Árni Thór Sigurdsson, were also interested in the European Union economic and financial cooperation.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson talked about the activities of the Committee as well as its role in handling European Union affairs and making decisions. He attached great importance to a fruitful cooperation with the government in developing common positions for shaping the European Union foreign policy. Another highlighted aspect was the communication between various national parliaments to shape their positions in key EU issues.
Talking about the realisation of foreign and security policy objectives as an EU Member State, Mihkelson said: „It is difficult to realise foreign policy objectives without the support of your partners. This is exactly what is guaranteed by a close cooperation within the EU“. He emphasised that Estonia wields a much stronger influence through the Union than the size of the country would lead to expect.
Various aspects of the European Union integration were also discussed, in positive as well as negative key, along with the relevant opportunities and risks.
The members of the Icelandic delegation explained that they planned the trip to Estonia, Latvia and Finland with the objective of successfully completing the EU accession process; this would allow them to meet with MPs as well as officials in order to receive adequate information on the process.
The Riigikogu Press Service