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The European Union Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu today discussed the issues connected with the Eastern Partnership.

In the opinion of the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling it is important that the European Union summit, which will be held in Riga in May, would give a clear message of the continuing priority of Eastern Partnership in the foreign policy of the EU. “At the moment it is important that the association agreements would be ratified in the Member States as soon as possible, and implemented in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. It is necessary to give a European perspective to the more successful and active partners to motivate them to carry out reforms,” Palling said. He stressed that if the countries have a clear perspective, they are more interested in implementing reforms.

Palling remarked that the readiness of Georgia and Ukraine for visa-free regime should be proclaimed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga. He referred to the fact that both countries have made significant progress in the issue, and have received a positive assessment from the European Commission.

According to Palling, it is also necessary to support closer cooperation with the Eastern partners in the sphere of Common Security and Defence Policy. Strategic communication should be made more effective in order to resist Russia’s aggressive propaganda both in the partner countries and the European Union as a whole.

The Eastern Partnership issues were discussed in connection with Estonia’s positions for the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 16 March and the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council on 17 March.

At its sitting, the EU Affairs Committee also discussed Estonia’s positions for the meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 16 March, and the consultation document on the EU Working Time Directive.