Kallas: Estonia should be at core of EU common decision making

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas addressing the Riigikogu.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas addressing the Riigikogu. Source: Erik Peinar/riigikogu kantselei

Resolving the health crisis and digital and green transition are the most important areas of focus for the European Union, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Tuesday, outlining the Government's EU policy to the Riigikogu via video call.

Kallas emphasised that it has been and always should be in the interests of Estonia to aim to be at the core of European policy and common decisions.

"This is the strongest guarantee for a small country to determine its own destiny and future," the prime minister said. "Estonian issues are also European issues and vice versa – strong member states make Europe strong and a strong Europe makes member states strong."

In her speech, kallas spoke about the health crisis at the heart of the EU policy discussions and said shw supported the EU being able to declare it's own health emergency, should it be necessary in the future. Additionally, a review of the Schengen rules should also take into consideration.

"When the borders were closed, all fundamental freedoms of the European Union were suddenly hit and the desire to obtain personal protective equipment or ventilators showed that the rules of the jungle applied," Kallas said.

The prime minister focused on the green transition and the biodiversity crisis, and the need to take natural capital into account in financial accounting.

'Upon launching the Tiigrihüpe (Tiger Leap) project in 1996, President Lennart Meri used the following proverb: "he who is late will be left without". We should also take this healthy approach to the green transition which could be domestically referred to as the Viigrihüpe (Ringed Seal Leap) after an endangered species of the Baltic Sea," Kallas said.

Kallas reiterated that the Government supports the European Union goal of climate neutrality and its inclusion in the so-called European Climate Law as a legally binding target.

"Furthermore, we also support setting a similar goal for Estonia and we have recently initiated the preparation of an environmental development plan. Within the next two months, we are expecting an impact assessment from the European Commission, as well as Estonia's own assessment for how the 55% decrease in emissions can be achieved," Kallas said, expressing gladness over the creation of a Just Transition Fund to make the necessary investments in Ida-Viru County.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government is definitely in favour of smart and green industrial manufacturing in Estonia and highlighted that in the form of Estonian high-tech companies, for example, we already have a remarkable footprint in the so-called car industry.

Read the whole speech here.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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