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At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) approved Estonia’s positions on the European Defence Industrial Strategy. Estonia underlines the need to swiftly enhance the EU’s defence readiness and proposes to steer additional funds to defence industry.

Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta said that industrial capacities during peacetime were instrumental for keeping peace. “For Estonia, this is an issue of survival. We know that Russia has the will to restore the Russian Empire, that Russia is rebuilding its capabilities at a strong pace, that Russia’s troops are numerically larger than they were before the war. We must do everything to ensure that Russia would not get the opportunity to attack the European Union and NATO,” Pakosta stated.

“The Russian Empire must receive a clear deterrence from the European Union’s defence industry, and this means peacetime production capability that meets wartime requirements. Even if we do not use this production capability to its full extent in peacetime, it is better to risk wasting the capacity than to lose the next war. If we want to be better protected after five years, decisive steps need to be taken now, both at the national level by increasing defence spending and at the European level by investing in capabilities,” Pakosta emphasised.

Member of the European Union Affairs Committee Aleksei Jevgrafov added that today’s decision of the Committee had been adopted by a consensus, and the members of the Riigikogu had agreed to all priorities and needs that had been set out in Estonia’s positions. He pointed out that the Defence Industrial Strategy was a historic document for the European Union as well. “The 1.5 billion euros planned for enhancing Europe’s defence readiness in the proposal for a Regulation is not enough, and it is complicated to increase defence capability with that. As funding is urgently needed, Estonia supports the issuing of European Union Defence Bonds as one solution, in order to mobilise at least 100 billion euros of additional funding sources before 2028.”

Kristo Enn Vaga, who gave an overview of the positions of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu at the sitting, highlighted developing the European defence industry as a clear priority for Estonia. “We must respond to Russian aggression and the speed of their war machine with long-term planning and strategy. Bringing more money into defence will speed up the delivery of the necessary ammunition, boost Europe’s economy and create more jobs. It is in Estonia’s interests that the strategy is swiftly implemented and that not only the Eastern border countries, but all 27 EU Member States take the developing of the defence industry seriously.”

It was decided at the sitting that the draft did not set out clearly what needed to be done to enhance defence capability, but Estonia wanted that the emphasis would be on developing ammunition, air defence and distant strike capability.

At the sitting, Director of the Innovation Department of the Ministry of Defence Miiko Peris gave an overview of the European Defence Industrial Strategy and programme, and the positions of the Government in regard to them.

The European Union Affairs Committee also discussed the European Defence Industrial Strategy in detail also at its public sitting on 11 March, and approved Estonia’s positions on increasing defence readiness funding at its public sitting on 27 May, where the next long-term budget of the European Union was discussed.

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]