Estonia's new National Security Concept proceeds to Riigikogu

Riigikogu.
Riigikogu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonia's new draft National Security Concept, which lays out the country's defense strategy for the coming years, will be presented to the Riigikogu for MPs to scrutinize next Monday (Feburary 6).

Two of the document's main features are to raise defense spending to 3 percent and sets out permanent funding for civil protection.

The draft is updated every five years and needs to be adopted by a majority of MPs.

Its aim is to describe the security environment at the start of 2023, clarify Estonia's objectives in the increasingly tense security environment and to describe the activities necessary for achieving them.

The Concept covers Estonia's activities in five areas: social cohesion and national resilience, economic security and vital services, internal security and public order, military defense, and international activities.

Once passed, it will create certainty for the future financing of national defense and will send a "significant" cross-party message, Chairman of the National Defense Committee Raimond Kaljulaid said in a statement.

"This is also certainly a message internationally, to our allies as well as to potential adversaries, that Estonia is ready to defend itself and ready to contribute to its defense," he said.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Andres Sutt (Reform) considered it important that the National Security Concept emphasized the threat from China as well as Russia.

"It is important that this Riigikogu updates the National Security Concept, because due to Russia's full-scale war of aggression, the global security picture is quite different from the picture at the time the previous Concept was approved. I hope that we can approve the updated National Security Concept in the plenary of the Riigikogu in the coming weeks," he said.

Estonia's biggest political parties have already pledged to raise defense spending to 3 percent of GDP at the upcoming election in March.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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