Estonia Celebrates 10 Years in the EU
On the 10th anniversary of joining the European Union, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called on citizens to participate in the elections of the European Parliament, while a high-ranking official offered a possible theme for the Estonian EU presidency in 2018.
In his anniversary speech, Ilves said the world today leaves no doubt about whether joining the EU was the right decision 10 years ago, ETV reported on Thursday.
The president recalled that nine years before joining the EU, Estonia signed the association agreement, and “now that Ukraine wished to do that, there were attempts to stop it with GRU and Spetsnaz [special forces].”
The president stressed that the EU is not “somewhere in Brussels” and the May elections offer a chance to influence the future of Europe and it is too serious a matter for “clown antics.”
European Commission Deputy Secretary General Henrik Hololei, who led the harmonization of Estonian and EU laws, was elected European of the Year by the European Movement Estonia, a NGO.
Juhan Lepassaar, who has been director for EU affairs at the Government Office for five years, told uudised.err.ee that the most important issue for the EU is the changed security situation that has to be dealt with.
Lepassaar said that as Estonia will become the president of the EU in four years, the prospective energy alliance could be a main theme of its presidency.