“The European Union Affairs Committee met with top officials of the European Commission in Riigikogu on Thursday 16 March 2017”

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Foto from Riigikogu

On Thursday at the meeting of the members of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) with Secretary General of the European Commission Alexander Italianer and Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Commission Martin Selmayr,

the discussion focused on the future of the European Union and Brexit. Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut gave the European Commission officials an overview of the events of the parliamentary dimension of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of European Union, and pointed out the future of the EU, startups, the role of national parliaments, digital single market, security and migration as issues to be discussed.

Vitsut said that in the debate over the future of the European Union, the unity of the EU was the most important for Estonia. “It is important for us that the EU remained unified, open and able to make decisions, and would not become protectionist,” Vitsut said. “We wish that the common values of the EU – freedom, peace, democracy, tolerance and solidarity – would be protected.”

Vitsut stated that Estonia respected the choice of the British people. He said that regarding the Brexit negotiations, Estonia considered it important that the fundamental freedoms of the EU, free movement of goods, capital, services and people, would be preserved. The EU should also take the leading role in putting the technological development to work for it, and go on to add free movement of data would to the fundamental freedoms of the EU.

The election results in the Netherlands were also discussed as a topical issue. “The Dutch supported their country remaining in the European Union, and this is a good result for moving on,” member of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling said. Palling also acknowledged the initiative of President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to increase the security and defence cooperation of Member States.

The meeting was attended by Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut and members of the Committee Kalle Palling and Monika Haukanõmm, and Secretary General of the Riigikogu Maria Alajõe.

Krishan Chand

 

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