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At the discussion of the European Union policy, which was held at the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) today, Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Kalle Palling in his speech focused on migration policy and the challenges faced by Estonia.

In Palling’s opinion, the European world view is based on humanity and valuing of human lives. “We have to find strength to stay on the course of European values, and continue with our daily activities in implementing the European Union policies. Any kind of extremism, terrorism, cruelty or hatred cannot be tolerated,” Palling said. “We should not lower our eyes in front of those who need help, because this is the aim of the brutal grouping that is testing our values.”

Palling thinks that Estonia’s activities in the refugee crisis are more strategic today than they were in the beginning of the crisis. He appreciated improving cooperation with Syria’s neighbours and helping them, and also cooperation with international organisations and development of discussion in politics.

Palling considered it important that the list of safe countries, which could be used when making decisions on returning the immigrants, were agreed upon in the European Union. “Those who need help must be received, and those who come for other reasons or from safe countries have to be sent back,” Palling said.

In the opinion of the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee, it is necessary to establish a common border guard authority to protect one of the fundamental values of Europe – the free movement of people. “Protecting the southern border of the European Union is as important as protecting its eastern border,” Palling noted.

Palling emphasised that the European Union should contribute more to helping the countries bordering on conflict areas. “Let’s increase trade with the neighbouring countries of Syria and reduce restrictions – this way we can make a great contribution to the economic development of these countries, to creating jobs and thus to improving the ability to manage the migration crisis,” Palling said.

Besides migration issues, Palling also spoke about the Eastern Partnership, European economy, energy policy, and the role of the Riigikogu during the presidency of the European Union.

At the Tuesday sitting of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas gave an overview of the activities of the Government in implementing the European Union policies.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) 

Photos of the sitting  

Riigikogu Press Service
Kati Varblane
Phone: +372 631 6353, +372 51 69 152
kati.varblane@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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