Rõivas to Timmermans: Europe needs greater unity
Meeting Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans in Tallinn on Friday, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) stressed the position of his government that Europe needs greater unity when it comes to finding a way out of the migration crisis.
Rõivas said that Estonia had demonstrated solidarity and support for emergency measures in the crisis. “We have been among the fastest contributors in Greece, we have helped to reinforce control of the EU border and are working in Turkey now,” Rõivas said at the meeting with Timmermans, who is in Tallinn this weekend to attend the Lennart Meri Conference.
Estonia had not sought confrontation, but helped find solutions, Rõivas said. “In my judgment, the commission's latest proposal for the automatic redistribution of asylum seekers will rather widen the gap between member states,” he added.
Estonia supported the adoption of emergency measures at union level that are based on the decisions of the member states and flows that are manageable by their own assessment. By now, some 1,500 of the intended 160,000 refugees have been relocated. Of the people to be relocated to Estonia, 19 have so far made it here.
Officials of the Estonian Police and Border Guard have participated in various missions related to migration since 2010. At present, nine officials of the Police and Border Guard Board are on the island of Lesbos, and at the beginning of May a 20-strong police unit, ESTPOL3, returned from there. Estonia also sent liaison officers to Ankara and Athens.
Other topics discussed at the meeting included the economy, the free movement of data and businesses, and current issues of the European Union.