SDE MP: Statesmanlike leadership would increase weight of Estonia's voice
Speaking in the Riigikogu on Tuesday, opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) MP Riina Sikkut, deputy chairwoman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, said that it is necessary to start leading Estonia in a statesmanlike manner so that the country's voice would holder greater weight in both Europe and the world.
"Estonia needs the European Union, other European countries need the union," Sikkut said. "This is an opportunity for nation states to be bigger together — to be a considerable power in the global economy and a strong voice in diplomacy."
According to the MP, the EU's new challenges concern climate, the ownership of key digital technologies, cybersecurity as well as the fight against cancer.
"Estonia cannot tax tech giants, carry out a green revolution, serve as the leader of future technologies or fund major projects like Rail Baltic and the desychronization of the power grid alone," she said. "Thus, we need the EU to be ambitious. It is in Estonia's interests that this ambition does not remain at the level of words, but that this is followed by actions and the directing of money for the realization of priorities."
Sikkut said that she wanted to highlight two important things necessary in order to move toward an ambitious future where Europe has more of a say in the world.
"Now let's get ourselves together and start leading Estonia in a statesmanlike fashion," she said, referring, for example, to the EU's new budget negotiations, which are extremely important to agriculture and rural life in particular and in which the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has thus far failed to maintain peace.
"Secondly, let's avoid confusion and questions among our allies and partners about what we really stand for," she continued. "When the interior minister, and not the defense minister, talks to foreign journalists about a 'Plan B' in our defense policy, the efforts of dozens of people are needed to explain this."
The MP was referring to a case from three weeks ago in which Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) told Finnish daily Iltalehti that Estonia, along with Latvia and Lithuania, was working on a "Plan B" to NATO.
Sikkut also noted on Tuesday that the investment of €1 billion into shale oil production is not the kind of future technology and business that would move Estonia forward.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla