The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) considered the negotiations on the Agenda on Migration at the meeting of the European Council successful. At the meeting, it was agreed that the Member States will contribute to the solving of the Mediterranean crisis on a voluntary basis and according to their capabilities.
“The European colleagues decided to support Estonia’s approach that the Member States should contribute to the solving of the refugee crisis according to their sizes and possibilities. For Estonia, it is positive that the quota of 1064 refugees suggested by the European Commission was not supported,” Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling said. “But it is a fact that we have to make the Estonian refugee policy more open and to contribute more to alleviating of migration pressure by increasing our capability step by step.”
The European Council decided that 40,000 persons in clear need of international protection will be relocated from Italy and Greece to other Member States in the course of the next two years. In order to make it possible for the Council of the EU to adopt a decision rapidly, all Member States will agree by consensus by the end of July on the distribution of such persons, considering the specific situation of each Member State. In addition to that, the European council agreed on the resettling of 20,000 displaced persons in clear need of international protection, reflecting the specific situations of Member States. It was also decided to provide financial assistance to alleviate the crisis.
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas represented the Estonian positions at the meeting of the European Council held on 25–26 June. The European Union Affairs Committee will discuss the issue of migration again on 6 July with the Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur, who will represent Estonia at the meeting of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council on 10 July.