At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) heard the European Commission’s work programme until spring. The European Union Affairs Committee supported reduction of bureaucracy by 25% and the postponement of the adoption of sustainability reporting standards, but expressed concern that no agreement had been achieved in regard to defence industry strategy.
Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta underlined that in the new security situation, the European Union had to free the defence industry from unreasonable bureaucratic restrictions and considerably increase real defence capability.
“In my speech in Brussels at the discussion of the security in Europe in the 21st century, I also pointed out that the EU should not regard defence industry as something bad, almost like porn industry. Besides that, it is crucial that when regulating artificial intelligence, the artificial intelligence for defence purposes is not regulated. Otherwise, we will be in a situation where our sons and daughters may be killed on the battlefield because we regulated AI and our adversary did not,” Pakosta noted.
Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski said that the deadline for approving the EU budget for 2024 was approaching.
“It is important for Estonia that funds from the budget are allocated to provide comprehensive assistance to Ukraine and to deal with the consequences of the war of aggression against Ukraine concerning the economic, social and humanitarian impact,” Jufereva-Skuratovski said. She also emphasised the need to increase Europe’s strategic autonomy, and noted that to ensure energy security, reserve capacities were needed, therefore Estonia, for example, must retain the possibility to use oil shale.
Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia Vivian Loonela gave the Committee an overview of the 2024 Work Programme of the European Commission. It was also discussed when Estonia’s positions at the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council were spoken about. It was highlighted that Estonia considered it important to continue comprehensive supporting of Ukraine and to hold Russia to account. The EU budget was under discussion in connection with the adoption of Estonia’s positions for the meeting of the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council.
For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta, phone +372 502 6191