Bulgarian National Assembly chair visits Tallinn, meets with Estonian leaders
On a visit to the Estonian capital of Tallinn on Monday, Chairperson of the National Assembly of Bulgaria Tsetska Tsacheva met with the president and vice-president of the Riigikogu, chairman of the European Affairs Committee and Estonia’s foreign minister to discuss topics including the refugee crisis, e-governance, the upcoming NATO summit and the presidency of the EU.
According to spokespeople for the Riigikogu, President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor and Tsacheva spoke at their meeting about the refugee crisis in Europe, agreeing that it represented a big challenge to European countries and observing that it has triggered a debate in both Estonia and Bulgaria respectively on further integration of the EU and cooperation between European countries.
“European countries have to cooperate and search together for solutions to solve the refugee crisis,” said Nestor.
The ongoing war in Ukraine and EU’s sanctions against Russia were also discussed.
Nestor gave Tsacheva an overview of e-solutions used in the Riigikogu and in Estonian governance in general, citing online tax returns and digital prescriptions as examples of e-solutions used in Estonian society in general.
The two parliamentary leaders also discussed the presidency of the EU. Bulgaria is slated to succeed Estonia as the union’s presiding country in the second half of 2018.
Their meeting was also attended by MP Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, a member of the Estonia-Bulgaria parliamentary group.
Vice-President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas also met with Tsacheva on Monday, together with other members of the Estonia-Bulgaria parliamentary group including MPs Anneli Ott, Kalvi Kõva, Uno Kaskpeit and Andre Sepp.
Chairman of the current European Union Affairs Committee MP Kalle Palling had met with Tsacheva on Sunday as well.
Tsacheva meets with the Estonian foreign minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand likewise met with the Bulgarian parliamentary leader on Monday to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit and the presidency of the EU.
“In addition to increasing allied presence in eastern NATO countries, the summit must adopt a broader and longer-term vision of the alliance’s adjustment to threats including those emerging from the south,” said Kaljurand at the meeting.
Both Estonia and Bulgaria will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in 2018, which makes bilateral cooperation very important, said Kaljurand. “We hold similar views on many EU-related questions, and that’s a good foundation for cooperation in preparing for the presidency and exchanging information about both organizational matters and substantive topics,” said the Estonian minister.
Kaljurand and Tsacheva likewise talked about the migration crisis, including the current situation in Turkey, and the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern partners. Cooperation in the field of IT was touched upon as well.
In addition, Kaljurand also recognized Bulgaria’s successful presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which Estonia took over from the Balkan state on May 18.