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Today at 9 a.m., the European Union Affairs Committee is holding a public sitting to discuss the collective proposal urging Estonia not to agree to the shorter deadline for enforcing the proposals for amendments to the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulation.

The Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta explained that the collective proposal is being discussed publicly so that everyone could shape their own opinions while following the sitting. The Chairman referred to the huge amounts of misinformation that has recently been circulating with regards to the negotiations of the WHO pandemic treaty and International Health Regulation, which has even caused some threats to be made against her.

“We have invited experts to the sitting so that they can comment on the proposal more broadly. I hope for a well-argumented public discussion on the actual significance of the dates of the negotiations,” Pakosta said. She added that the discussion would take place in Kuressaare Hospital which received incomparable experiences during the pandemic. The invited speakers are communications expert Ilmar Raag, Adviser on Strategic Communication and Information Operations of the Strategic Communication Department of the Headquarters of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant Colonel (in Reserve) Jaanus Sägi, Head of the World Health Organization Country Office in Estonia Kristina Köhler, Member of the Riigikogu and research scientist Irja Lutsar, member of the Management Board of the Kuressaare Hospital Foundation Edward Laane, Minister of Regional Affairs and former head of a local government Madis Kallas, and representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The second item on the agenda at 11.30 a.m. is the hearing on the funding from the European Union Cohesion and Internal Security Policy Funds to knowledge transfer, and the regional policy aspects of the funding. This item is discussed in TalTech Kuressaare College. A closer look is given to the new initiative of the European Union to bring the opportunities of knowledge transfer to smaller locations and not only to bigger centres. Kuressaare College has recently received the necessary funding for knowledge transfer, and the Head of the Marine Technology Competence Centre Villu Vatsfeld will be sharing his experiences.

Other guests at this discussion will be Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas and Deputy Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Estonia Elis Paemurd.

Members of the press, there is an opportunity for interviews after the first item on the agenda, around 10.30 a.m., and after the end of the sitting, around 1 p.m.

The public sitting starts at 9 a.m. and can be followed online on the Riigikogu web page. Video recording will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.

For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta, phone +372 502 6191

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
+372 631 6592; +372 510 6179
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]