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The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia), in agreement with the opinion of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu, approved the position of the Government, which supported the proposal on the allocation of seats in the next European Parliament.

Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut considered it positive that after the next elections, Estonia would have one more seat in the European Parliament.

Deputy Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Jaak Madison said that the distribution of seats in the European Parliament was still in favour of larger member states like Germany and France.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas emphasised that Estonia supported the principle according to which some of the seats freed up by the United Kingdom would be redistributed among member states in order to ensure equal representation and even out current inequalities.

Ratas explained to the Committee that 27 of the 73 seats freed up by Brexit would be shared out among the member states, and it had been proposed to hold the remaining seats in reserve for possible EU enlargement. According to the plan, the number of the members of the European Parliament will be cut from 751 to 705.

Estonia, like Croatia, Finland, Slovakia, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Romania and Poland, will be allocated one additional seat.  Spain and France will get five more seats, and the Netherlands and Italy will get three seats. Ireland will have two additional seats in the European Parliament.

The European Union Affairs Committee discussed the impact of the European elections on the nomination of the President of the European Commission and clarified the positions of the Government as a result of the discussion. The Committee emphasised that Estonia considered it important that the principles enshrined in the fundamental agreements of the European Union and the role of the European Council would be taken into account when the President of the European Commission was elected.

The European Union Affairs Committee remarked that when the President of the European Commission was nominated, the principles of geographical and gender balance had to be considered, and there should be more candidates than one. As the European Parliament rejected the proposal on a pan-European list, it will not be implemented at the next elections.

Photos of the sitting

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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