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At today’s meeting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu was briefed about the results of the European Council meeting on 8–9 December.
Director for the European Union Affairs of the State Chancellery Juhan Lepassaar told the Committee about the agreements reached in the Council. He said that both the principles of balanced state budget and mechanism sanctioning the states deviating from that rule  had been agreed upon. Also a decision on enhancing the measures of the EU stabilisation mechanisms (EFSF and ESM) was passed. According to Lepassaar, it is planned to sign the agreement guaranteeing the fiscal stability of the states of the euro area in March 2012.
“It is positive that the Council agreed on the measures that are aimed at ensuring the observance of financial discipline by all states joining the agreement, and that it is planned to enforce it as soon as possible. Estonia supports strong financial discipline, and we are of the opinion that the most important key to solving the debt crisis is hidden in bringing the budget of each member state into balance. At the European level it is only possible to support the states and gain time. Estonia is planning to write the principles that were agreed upon in the Council into the basic State Budget Act, and all other Member States also have to do that by making the relevant amendments to either their basic Acts or constitutions,” Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee Taavi Rõivas said.
At the same time Rõivas expressed regrets that Great Britain did not join the agreement, but in his opinion this did not rule out Great Britain’s joining at a later phase.
Rõivas assured that the measures agreed upon by the heads of governments in the European Council in all ways correspond to Estonia’s positions. “The Government has coordinated its positions with the European Union Affairs Committee both before the meeting of the Ministers of Finance in ECOFIN and also before the Council,” said Rõivas.
Pursuant to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act, the Government of the Republic has to get approval to  its positions with the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu in all decisions concerning the European Union policy and draft legislation.


The Riigikogu Press Service