Finnish Minister's Address to Estonian Parliament Canceled in Political Row ({{commentsTotal}})

Ene Ergma, speaker of the Estonian Parliament
Ene Ergma, speaker of the Estonian Parliament Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Last week, Speaker of Parliament Ene Ergma blocked Finland's education minister, Krista Kiuru, from addressing the Estonian Parliament in a session planned for this Thursday because the Social Democrats had not invited her Estonian counterpart.

Ergma had first proposed that the Estonian education minister, fellow IRL member Jaak Aaviksoo, also be put on the program, but the Social Dems refused and Ergma retaliated, Postimees reported.

"Parliament's leadership is of the standpoint that such behavior does not conform to parliamentary norms and is disrespectful to our good neighboring country's education minister, who has been put in an uncomfortable position as a result of the behavior," Ergma said.

"We stress that the Parliament is the legal body of the Republic of Estonia, where solutions to the problems of Estonian state life are discussed and sought, and the representatives of the Estonian state and people, not politicians from other countries, take part in these debates," Ergma said.

The Finnish minister had been invited to speak about the necessity for equal opportunities in education, from a regional and socio-economic perspective. Also, a Tallinn University professor was set to discuss the inaccessibility of regional education in Estonia.