Estonia, Italy sign refugee relocation agreement ({{commentsTotal}})

Hanno Pevkur and Angelino Alfano, Estonian and Italian ministers of internal affairs respectively, signed the refugee relocation declaration in Rome. Source: (Ministry of Internal Affairs)

Estonia and Italy have signed a cooperation agreement, which outlines the principles of relocating people in need of asylum.

The agreement confirmed Estonia's right to refuse entry to people who might pose a threat to the country's security and public safety.

It also stipulates Estonia's preference for whole family units and the most vulnerable groups – orphans, children and single mothers.

"The declaration allows us to push forward with preparations to relocate people in need of protection," said Estonian Minister of Internal Affairs Hanno Pevkur, who signed the agreement on behalf of Estonia this morning.

"We wish to send our social, police, and internal security service officers to Italy as soon as possible, so they can, in cooperation with local agencies, select those asylum seekers to whom Estonia can offer refuge," Pevkur added.

The ministry told ERR that an Estonian communications officer should arrive in Italy by the end of the month.

Estonia hopes to sign a similar agreement with Greece.

Editor: M. Oll

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.

Opinion digest: How can Estonia shed its reputation as a frontline state?

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, Propastop, a blog maintained by Estonian Defence Forces volunteers, listed suggestions on how Estonia could shed its international reputation as a frontline state.