The deliberation of foreign policy as a matter of significant national importance was held at the sitting. Reports were made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa.
Mr. Paet in his report highlighted that the objective of the Estonian foreign policy had been and would remain the strengthening of the security of the nation and state and ensuring the growth of welfare. ?Accession to NATO and European Union are have been means for better achieving this end, rather than objectives in themselves, ? Mr.Paet stated.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that it was in our national interest to actively participate in the European Neighbourhood Policy as well as in the development of NATO?s Partnership Policy. To support new democracies ? it is one of the priorities of the Estonian foreign policy. In implementing the Neighbourhood Policy, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are important countries of destination for Estonia. In the relations with Russia Mr. Paet emphasized that the cooperation with the Eastern neighbour must be based on the European values. Mr. Paet confirmed that the signing of the border treaties ensured the security and international standing of our nation.
Speaking of future priorities, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that Estonia had to focus on achieving the average standard of living of the European Union. Speaking of the economic growth, Mr. Paet said: ?Economic growth in the new Member States is almost twice that of the old Members, which is, hopefully, a boost for the economy of Europe as a whole.?
Mr. Paet in his report spoke also of the issues concerning the European Constitutional Treaty, the accession to the Schengen visa area, the European Union budget and other issues.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa in his report described the experience of Estonia belonging to the European Union and NATO. ?A year in the European Union has given us valuable experience in living and working in a democratic, good-neighbourly and considerate environment where major decisions are taken by unanimity, ?he said.
Mr. Eesmaa stated that a new era in the community of the European Union had begun. A discussion about the essence of the European Union will be launched. ?The issue under debate is complicated because some blame the European Union for being too liberal, others, on the contrary, for too little liberalism,? Mr. Eesmaa stated among other things.
Speaking of the European Constitutional Treaty, Mr. Eesmaa said that the Riigikogu would start the legislative proceeding of the Treaty in autumn, because the Constitutional Committee extended the term for the submission of the final report of the working group, formed for analysing the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union.
Speaking of the relations with Russia, Mr. Eesmaa stressed that relations of the two neighbouring countries had to be guided by principles of constructive partnership, which is based on regular political dialogue on all levels, starting from contacts between citizens as well as their political associations and ending up with meetings between state leaders.
Members of the Riigikogu asked the presenters of the reports many questions. After the reports the speeches by Members of the Riigikogu followed.
Jaanus Tamkivi as a new member of the Riigikogu, took the oath of office.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 61 of the State Pension Insurance Act (651 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Estonian Centre Party Faction and Estonian People?s Union Faction, and the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act (641 SE and 646 SE), initiated by the Isamaaliit Faction and the Cultural Affairs Committee.
The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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