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At its yesterday’s sitting, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) heard the report of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser on the priorities of strengthening the foreign service of Estonia, and supported the Minister’s plan for finding possibilities to develop the foreign service.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said that foreign policy was the frontline of Estonia’s security, and strengthening of foreign service would contribute to ensuring the security and international competitiveness of Estonia.

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee noted that foreign economic policy and supporting Estonian businesses in opening new markets also had to be kept in mind in the developing of foreign service.

“It is also necessary to analyse if our current Foreign Service Act answers today’s needs or it is necessary to review the system, because diplomacy is done by people, and investing into them is important,” Mihkelson added.

In connection with the reduction of the number of government sector employees, in recent years the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also had to make decisions that involve both downsizing the network of embassies, and economising in Tallinn. At the same time it is necessary to contribute a certain amount of resources to keep the system running effectively and efficiently in consular, economic and policy sector.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that making the salaries more competitive and strengthening of embassies from the viewpoint of the established security situation were the priorities of strengthening the foreign service. He added that all priorities could not be achieved in one year, but the government coalition had decided to strengthen the foreign service, and they were set on that course

Strengthening of foreign service is a part of the discussion on state budget strategy.

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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