At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) got an overview of the proposal to revise the long-term budget of the European Union for 2021–2027 and the funding initiatives for Ukraine related to it. The Committee found that it was necessary to amend the European Union budget to address the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and improve the defence capability of the EU.
Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta considered it very important to increase the budget of the European Peace Facility and establish a Ukraine Facility. “The 71 billion euros would go to the right place and using of the money has been thoroughly considered. Increasing the EU budget for Ukraine and raising the defence spending are really unavoidable. To improve defence capability and assist Ukraine, Estonia’s contribution to the EU budget may increase by 158 million euros during the next four years, but without that, we would be in a much worse situation,” Pakosta underlined. She added that Estonia also highlighted the importance of cybersecurity and cyber defence.
Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski said that the European Commission proposal to establish a Ukraine Facility with a capacity of 50 billion euro for 2024–2027 was of key importance. “This has to be done on the basis of the needs of Ukraine and the contributions of other donors,” she said. “Estonia also supports creating a separate facility in the European Peace Facility to grant military assistance to Ukraine over the next four years to the extent of up to 21 billion euro,” the Deputy Chair noted. Jufereva-Skuratovski added that due to the changed security situation, it was necessary to increase funding to improving the defence capability of the EU as well.
According to Estonia’s position, we will support the European Commission proposal according to which both non-repayable support and loans could be granted from the Ukraine Facility. In doing so, we consider it important to proceed from Ukraine’s Plan and to be flexible, depending on the situation in Ukraine, ensuring the necessary funding to respond to the humanitarian situation and to ensure the continuity of public services. It is also important to provide Ukraine with technical assistance for reforms, including support for the development of digital governance and the fight against hybrid threats.
Head of the European Union Policy Unit Meelis Meigas and Analyst of the European Union Policy Unit Karin Kondor-Tabun from the Fiscal Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance attended the discussion of this item on the agenda and gave an outline of the initiatives.
In line with the opinion of the Finance Committee, the European Union Affairs Committee decided to approve the positions presented by the Government on the proposal for a revision of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 and the related Ukraine Facility and on the Regulation on the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform.
Estonia’s positions at the meeting of ministers of justice and home affairs were also discussed at the sitting. It was pointed out that Estonia considers it important that crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine should not go unpunished. Discussions on how to hold the Russia’s leadership accountable for the crime of aggression and to establish a special tribunal with maximum international support and legitimacy have to be continued. Estonia emphasises that Russia must compensate Ukraine for the damage it has caused.
For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta, phone +372 502 6191