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Marko Mihkelson, who is taking part in the meeting of chairmen of foreign affairs committees of national parliaments of the EU in Vilnius, thinks that the foreign policy of the Union is often too bureaucratic, which prevents from wording and then achieving the strategic goals.

“Eastern Partnership has definitely been an important tool in the European Union communication with its Eastern neighbours. At the Vilnius Summit, Moldova and Georgia are taking an important step towards integration into the European value and legal space,” Mihkelson said.

“At the same time, recent weeks have brought serious setbacks. Armenia decided unexpectedly to join the customs union led by Russia, and Ukraine halted the preparations for the association and free trade agreement with the European Union,” Mihkelson mused.

According to him, the development of the countries in the region depends most of all, of course, on their own wishes and objectives, and no one can do their work for them.

“At the same time, we must ask why the European Union is not attractive enough for European countries to inspire more efforts in the name of integration. Is it caused by the excessive European bureaucracy even for the smallest steps towards integration?” Mihkelson asked, adding that “the European Union needs more political will and less bureaucratic mess to implement a more defined and forceful foreign policy.”

“The Vilnius Summit must send a clear signal to the European Union that the future of our Eastern neighbours has a direct and far-reaching effect on the future of the whole continent. This is why the European Union must devote diplomatic capital over the next months on supporting the integration efforts in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and other countries,” Mihkelson emphasised.

Marko Mihkelson is participating at a meeting of the chairmen of foreign affairs committees of national parliaments of the EU in Vilnius, as well as in a forum on parliamentary democracy which focuses on Eastern Partnership.

The Riigikogu Press Service

28 November 2013