Today the deliberation of foreign policy as a matter of significant national importance was held in the Riigikogu; reports were made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristiina Ojuland and Chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson.
While stressing the importance of the EU and NATO membership, Ms Ojuland stated that Estonia?s participation has given our foreign policy a new dimension. ?Estonia?s foreign policy no longer deals merely with the matters of one state, or even one region. Membership in the European Union and NATO has given our foreign policy a global dimension,? marked the Minister.
Focussing on the European Union?s Common Foreign and Security Policy, Ms Ojuland noted that one of Estonia?s priorities in that sphere was a strong transatlantic relationship. According to the Minister, this is the most essential guarantee of Europe?s security and stability.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson focussed in his report on issues relating to the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. Mr Mihkelson considered the approval of the EU Constitutional Treaty a significant step forward in shaping this policy; the Treaty would create among other things the position of the EU Foreign Minister. According to Mr Mihkelson, the institution of the EU Foreign Minister would give a new opportunity to promote a more vigorous and active common policy.
While speaking about the foreign policy objectives Mr Mihkelson stressed that one of the most important tasks for Estonia was efficient participation in shaping Europe?s Neighbourhood Policy and its implementation. ?It is in the interest of Estonia, as an active EU Member State, to contribute to the process of stable democratic development and growth of well-being in our immediate neighbourhood,? noted Mr Mihkelson.
When focussing on issues relating to the Ukraine, Mr Mihkelson expressed his satisfaction that in handling the Ukraine?s internal crises the EU had acted as a wholesome positive force. According to Mr Mihkelson, this signalled how extremely necessary and at the same time effective can a truly common foreign and security policy be.
While speaking about the relations with Russia, Mr Mihkelson noted that objective should be set at achieving relations of partnership and mutual benefit. He added that the primary measuring pole of the content of strategic relations should be common values and mutual respect towards them.
Both presenters of the reports were asked numerous questions, after that members of the Riigikogu took the floor.
The Riigikogu voted on the first item on the agenda, the Draft Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Amendment Act (445 SE), and rejected it from the legislative proceeding.
The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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