EU ministries’ officers meet to discuss foreign policy
The political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paul Teesalu, participated in an unofficial meeting with his European Union colleagues earlier this week. They discussed the main foreign policy issues of the first half of 2016.
“It is completely clear that the second half of the year will be quite complicated for European foreign politics,” Teesalu said, commenting on the meeting. “Diplomatic efforts to solving crises in Europe's Eastern and Southern neighborhood will continue, and at the same time several domestic issues in Europe, like migration and the consequences of the British referendum, also need to be dealt with.”
According to Teesalu, the meeting stressed that the EU had been able to preserve its unity and would continue to base its foreign policy on the same values and principles that had made it work before.
“Estonia will continue supporting the European Union's Eastern partners in the framework of Europe’s common foreign policy. We will continue to keep the spotlight on topics connected with our neighborhood, and at the same time pay attention to the restless South,” Teesalu said.
Topics discussed at the meeting also included the situation in the Middle East, Belarus, and the Western Balkans. “In regard to the Western Balkans, Europe doesn’t have any other option than to keep its doors open, and the topic is also one of the priorities of Slovakia’s EU presidency,” Teesalu said. “Cooperation in the framework of expansion policy is necessary for the candidate countries as well as for Europe as a whole,” he stressed.
Policy directors of foreign ministries usually meet twice a year at the start of each six-month EU presidency term.