“Foreign Affairs Committee initiated a report for strengthening the Estonian foreign service”

DSC_8485[1]The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament  ( Riigikogu Estonia ) resolved to initiate preparing of a report for shaping the decisions necessary for strengthening the foreign service of Estonia. For the preparation of the report, the Committee also decided to commission a compatible study for getting proposals and recommendations.

According to Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, the report will mainly focus on what kind of legislative and political decisions have to be made in order to increase the level of ambition and flexibility of the Estonian foreign service. “The Estonian diplomatic service has a key role in ensuring the security of the country, in promoting economic interests and protecting the rights of the citizens, therefore having the relevant resources is also important,” Mihkelson said.

The Foreign Affairs Committee thinks that now is the right time to evaluate the capability of the Estonian foreign service to realise foreign policy objectives, make proposals for changes if necessary, and to give policy recommendations.

“Estonia has just finished a successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and is a candidate for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in 2020–2021. At the same time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing the foreign policy development plan and analysing the need to amend the Foreign Service Act,” Mihkelson said.

Besides preparing the report, the Foreign Affairs Committee will also commission a relevant study with the purpose of mapping the existing active mechanisms, assessing the realisation of foreign policy objectives by the foreign service, and finding out if there is a need for changes in order to strengthen the foreign service, and what kind of changes are necessary.

The study should give an overview of the fundamental documents, sources and objectives of the Estonian foreign policy, and reply to the question if and how the implementation of Estonia’s foreign policy has to be changed.

The Foreign Affairs Committee has earlier commissioned several studies, the latest of which dealt with institutional capacity of Estonian public sector towards Asia. All studies and public opinion polls commissioned by the Riigikogu are available on the Riigikogu  website.

Krishan Chand

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