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At the meeting with the Chairman of the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag Hans-Peter Bartels on Thursday, the Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Mati Raidma said that the European Union has to change its defence paradigm – besides the readiness to go to the third states, the EU has to be ready to defend its Member States.

“The current situation shows that the opinion according to which a military conflict in Europe is even theoretically impossible is history,” Raidma said. He added that the change of paradigm that has already taken place in civil defence in Europe should also be achieved in national defence. “The capabilities that have been developed in order to react to crises somewhere else, outside the EU, should be made to work for the defence of the EU itself,” Raidma said.

Raidma’s German colleague agreed to his opinion that the military capabilities of the EU Member States should be made to complement one another, and their efficiency should be increased. The 28 Member States of the EU, most of which are members of the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO), can together put out very remarkable human resources and also finances, but its visibility has to be improved.

Raidma thanked Germany for its contribution to Baltic air policing. At the moment German fighters are based in Ämari. “The allies are with us, and this is important for us,” Raidma said, and called on Germany to contribute to the security of Estonia in air, on land and on water. Estonia covers the expenses of hosting the allies, using funds outside the agreed two percent of GDP allocated for national defence.

Mati Raidma and Hans-Peter Bartels also discussed the capability of the EU to implement common defence policy. Both sides agreed that this area has to be reinforced institutionally.

Photos of the meeting can be viewed here.