Foreign Ministry: Estonia against abolishing EU unanimity rule

Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Tallinn.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Estonia does not support the abolition of the European Union's unanimity rule for decisions made in relation to EU foreign affairs. The EU does not support the EU's position on the non-renewal of the EU's foreign policy. Estonia will be represented at the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, in which the issue will be among those discussed, by ambassador to the European Union Aivo Orav.

"Estonia does not support the abolition of the unanimity rule, as we consider it important to speak with one voice and unity when it comes to matters concerning the EU's foreign and security policy," Kerstin Meresma, media advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told ERR.

Among other issues on the agenda, Meresma said, is the follow-up to the Future of Europe conference. "Discussions will include a variety of proposals, including the abolition of the unanimity requirement, for example on  foreign and security policy(issues)," she said.

"I would like to make it clear that no decisions will be taken at this General Affairs Council on the transition from unanimity to qualified majority voting. Only discussions will take place," Meresma added.

According to an article appearing in online publication Politico, EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the abolition of the unanimous voting requirements currently in place for EU foreign policy actions. Currently, any single member state is, for instance, able to block the imposition of sanctions against Moscow.

Germany's deputy foreign minister Anna Lührmann said the EU's actions in response to Russian aggression had been repeatedly blocked by one member state, and that this should not be the cause of obstacles in the future.

According to Politico, Germany supports the introduction of a qualified majority system, with France, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy in favor of majority voting on foreign policy issues.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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