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At today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta gave an overview of the implementation of European Union policies.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas began her speech by noting that, as a nation and a state, Estonia had clearly expressed the main guarantee of its independent existence – never would it be alone again. “During our history we have paid a heavy price for being on our own, and we will never want to experience it again,” she said. She added that Russia had attacked Ukraine precisely because Ukraine was not a member of NATO or the EU. Kallas underlined that every day Ukraine was fighting for our freedom as well and needed continuing support in that. “I want to believe that we will be able to agree during this week’s European Council on sanctions, the use of frozen assets, economic and military assistance, and on inviting Ukraine to accession negotiations, and thereby encourage all the other countries in the world.”

The Prime Minister also said that, when moving from one crisis to another, the European Union’s internal market and the European competitiveness gap had finally come into sharp focus in comparison to our global competitors. According to Kallas, it is therefore crucial for Europe’s competitiveness that countries implement the national reforms promised in the reform plans and that investments are used to improve competitiveness and productivity. “At the same time, there are some low-hanging fruit, because in order to achieve some important things, all you have to do is end the exceptions and start following the rules, for example, to end the exemptions for public debt and state aid. The European economy and internal market cannot function in the hope of public intervention, which more and more often requires state aid or protectionism as a distortion of competition, and the constant expectations that the public purse will come to the rescue. The purse of the taxpayer of rich countries will also run out eventually. Just as bureaucracy feeds on bureaucracy, state aid also feeds on state aid. A competitive advantage bought with the help of a taxpayer is like a wood chip fire, it doesn’t last very long,” she explained. She added that therefore Estonia had to return to the market economy functioning as a level playing field, and the digital and green reforms would need to increase competitiveness and help maintain the necessary resource base for the functioning of the economy. 

The Prime Minister also expressed her delight over the fact that only Estonia and Lithuania had been able to put the European Union funds of the recent budget period to use the full extent. “This autumn we finally received the first payment from the new generation of budget funds (NGEU), so today, together with the advance payment, EUR 364 million (38%) of NGEU funds has already been injected and is reaching the Estonian economy.”

Kallas said that, in retrospect, we could say that while the recession feared due to the health crisis had not been as steep, the NGEU funds intended to alleviate it and carry out reforms had proved to be an important tool for economic recovery in the current situation caused by the war. “I note that the level of investment of the Estonian government sector compared to GDP is one of the highest in the European Union, and it will remain so during the entire period of the state budget strategy for the next four years. While the average level of investment compared to GDP in the EU is within three per cent, in Estonia it is over five per cent. We will do our best to ensure that the investments of this period will also reach the people of Estonia,” she said.

In her report, the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta focused on ensuring the security of the European Union and on the need to develop defence industry and to support Ukraine. Pakosta also opened issues related to the enlargement of the European Union and paid attention to the need to reduce bureaucracy.

During the debate, Anti Poolamets (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Raimond Kaljulaid (Social Democratic Party), Enn Eesmaa (Centre Party), Kalev Stoicescu (Estonia 200), Andres Sutt (Reform Party) and Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) took the floor on behalf of their parliamentary groups.

The Riigikogu passed a Resolution

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia Who Is a Specialist in the Field” (348 OE), submitted by the Finance Committee, was passed. Specialist in the field Toomas Tamsar was appointed as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia.

The Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia is the oversight body of the Bank of Estonia which consists of a Chairman, representatives of the parliamentary groups of the Riigikogu and specialists in the field. The Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia is formed based on the principle that each parliamentary group of the Riigikogu nominates one of its members and the Chairman of the Board nominates four specialists in the field.

58 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution and three were against.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

Video recording will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.

Riigikogu Press Service
Maris Meiessaar
+372 631 6353, +372 5558 3993
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]

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