The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) held its sitting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. They were given an overview of the draft of “Foreign Policy Development Plan 2030”, which will be discussed at the coming Autumn Session of the Riigikogu.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa thinks that the principles of the Foreign Policy Development Plan are ambitious. In his opinion, it is a positive trend that the connections with other agencies are clearly set out in the development plan. Eesmaa said that the discussions would continue at tomorrow’s sitting of the Committee, and the Committee planned to analyse all chapters of the Development Plan separately.
Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said that today’s sitting had been an introduction to the discussion that would take place in the Riigikogu. He added that the Development Plan had to be backed by a strong political consensus, and that the political forces represented in the Riigikogu had the opportunity to submit their proposals through the Foreign Affairs Committee during the legislative proceedings. He also said that he was happy that the topics which had been discussed by the Foreign Affairs Committee for years, like foreign economic policy and strengthening of foreign service, had been taken into account in drafting the Development Plan.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu told the Committee that the process of drawing up the Development Plan had taken a long time, and various institutions and interest groups had been involved in mapping the trends of the future. In the opinion of the Minister, the Foreign Policy Development Plan is realistic and related to the practical activities of the coming years. This is the first time a development plan of this kind has been composed. He hoped there would be a serious debate on the document in the Parliament.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rainer Saks gave the Committee an overview of the draft Development Plan. He underlined that the foreign policy objectives would be implemented through three central actions. In addition to foreign trade and ensuring of security, he pointed out the increasing involvement of Estonians living abroad and effective consular services as a new important initiative.
The draft “Foreign Policy Development Plan 2030”, initiated by the Government of the Republic and accepted for debate by a resolution of the Board of the Riigikogu in the middle of August, puts stronger emphasis on bilateral regional relations than set out in earlier strategies. Cyber issues and greater cohesion of foreign policy and foreign relations have also been added to the area of administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The general objectives of the Development Plan are a strong foreign service and the growth of Estonia’s reputation and influence.
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