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Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Liisa Pakosta said at the meeting of the Chairpersons of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) in Belgium that the countries that wish to join the EU should be given the assurance that the Union was willing to enlarge.

Pakosta addressed the meeting on the enlargement of the European Union, focusing on the need to overcome differences. She reminded her counterparts that enlargement was not about bilateral negotiations and that for the security and future of Europe as a continent, we must rise above this.

“Already today we can see 70 ways where one country has got something against another country, and there is a temptation to veto. But this will get us nowhere. Enlargement is and will be a unanimous decision where all must feel safe, but the newcomers have to be ensured the confidence that we really want enlargement,” she underlined.

Pakosta recalled Estonia’s accession to the European Union. “Our closest neighbour Finland had many concerns, for example the electricity market, but the Finnish government wisely understood that it was advantageous for the Finns to have a stable and secure neighbour, and to achieve this, Estonia must be accepted into the European Union. Estonia wanted to accede and felt that the EU looked forward to our accession. The new countries, starting with Ukraine and Moldova, now also need to feel that they are wanted. Vetoes can be imposed on the opening and closing of all 33 chapters, but please really stop this nonsense of bilateral vetoes,” Pakosta said, calling on EU member states to demonstrate their confidence.

“The credibility of the European Union in the enlargement process will be determined by the proposals for the budget of 2025, which will be the test for new accessions, and therefore we in Estonia must also keep a close eye on whether the budget proposals contain enough finances and whether our offer for accession is thus credible,” Pakosta emphasised.

Liisa Pakosta, chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee, at the COSAC chairmen's meeting in Belgium. Photo: Riigikogu Chancellery

The impact of the enlargement of the European Union was also on the agenda of today’s joint sitting of the European Union Affairs Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, where it was noted that enlargement was a process that would last for years and would have an impact on institutions, decision-making processes as well as the budget. It was pointed out that if eight or nine countries were to join, this would mean that the Union’s budget would increase by around 15%. Estonia’s contribution would increase by about 60 million per year, as our contribution will be 400 million euro per year in the coming years.

Estonia’s position that we are ready for a larger budget was approved at the sitting. It was decided that, in conclusion, the enlargement of the European Union was a great opportunity in terms of both the internal market and foreign trade.

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]