Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed recent regional and international developments and the issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament Eduskunta at a video conference today.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa emphasised the value of the cooperation between the two committees. “The annual meetings of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Estonian and Finnish parliaments have become a nice tradition and an important means for developing the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
Eesmaa gave the Finnish parliamentarians an overview of the latest political developments in Estonia, including the adoption of the 2021 budget, and the long-term strategic documents “Estonia 2035” and the Estonian Foreign Policy Development Plan 2030. He also highlighted Estonia’s applying for observer status in the Arctic Council, and spoke of the organisation of the work of the Riigikogu and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the context of the pandemic.
Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson gave an insight into the new Foreign Policy Development Plan. He pointed out that the central topics of the plan were security policy, international relations, foreign trade and trade policy, maintaining relations with the Estonians living abroad and strong foreign service. Mihkelson added that in the last 30 years, the shaping of Estonia’s foreign policy had been based on strong consensus, and this had also been the basis for drafting the new Foreign Policy Development Plan.
The Deputy Chairman said that in spite of the pandemic and the restrictions it had caused, it was necessary to maintain the strong and continuous cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries. Mihkelson thinks that Estonia’s aspiration to become an observer state of the Arctic Council is an important opportunity for cooperation.
Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski, Raivo Tamm, Imre Sooäär, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Raimond Kaljulaid and Mihhail Lotman also participated in the video conference.
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