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Members of the Estonian Delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) participate in the 143rd Assembly of the IPU, held in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The main focus of the Assembly will be on challenges to democracy, like overcoming division and protecting freedom of speech.

Head of the Estonian Delegation Toomas Kivimägi will say in in his speech that the parliaments are the keepers and promoters of democracy. “Without democracy, it is extremely complicated to keep peace, sustainable development, the rule of law and respect for human rights,” Kivimägi notes. “In the midst of the pandemic, migration and other crises, democracy is facing a crisis of confidence.”

Kivimägi underlines that it is important that the fundamental values of democracy and human rights be not neglected even in the changed circumstances. “On the border of Belarus, the lives of people are put in danger by using them as a human shield. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated in the 21st century Europe, or in the rest of the world, and it must be firmly condemned,” Kivimägi emphasised.

The Head of Delegation will also speak about the importance of increasing voter turnout, because participation in elections is one of the cornerstones of democracy. In this context, Kivimägi highlights the Estonian e-elections, which, according to him, help to increase the participation of young voters in particular.

The Estonian Delegation to the 143rd Assembly of the IPU consists of Head of the Delegation Toomas Kivimägi and members of the Delegation Helmen Kütt and Marika Tuus-Laul.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is the oldest and largest organisation of parliaments in the world. It was established in 1889, and it has 179 member states from the entire world. Estonia was a member of the Union between 1921–1940, and restored its membership after regaining independence in 1991.

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Merilin Kruuse
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