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EU affairs committee adopts revised Estonia's EU enlargement position

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti visited Estonia on November 18, 2022.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti visited Estonia on November 18, 2022. Source: Jürgen Randma

The European Union Affairs Committee (EUAC) of Riigikogu and Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) approved the revised government position on EU enlargement today, December 8. The committee decided to recognize Kosovo's efforts to deescalate the situation in the north and its voluntary cooperation with EU anti-Russia sanctions.

The committee decided that Estonia would support starting accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova and advocate for speeding up the process.

Estonia is ready to support giving a candidate status to Georgia if the country carries out the necessary reforms and aligns itself with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, particularly the sanctions directed against Russia.

Estonia is ready to support opening accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina if the country meets the required criteria in a satisfactory manner.

The committee decided to recognize Kosovo's efforts to de-escalate the situation in the northern part of the country and the voluntary alignment with the anti-Russia sanctions of the European Union.

The corner stones of accession – the principle of the rule of law

"Yearly legal analyses should take into account the functioning of the Member States as well as that of the European Union itself. For the candidate countries as well, the principle of the rule of law should genuinely be a value that unites us all," Liisa Pakosta (Eesti 200), the chair of the committee, said.

"It is also crucial to keep the Union itself from crossing the line with its legislation, i.e. from regulating things that are better regulated at the national level," she said.

"We cannot allow the European Union to federalize furtively, so to speak, without having received a mandate for this purpose from the citizens and Member States," Rain Epler (EKRE), said.

Analysis of the effect of the EU enlargement on Estonia

The committee also strongly supported conducting a thorough analysis of the impact that the EU enlargement would have on Estonia. The purpose of the enlargement policy should be to create conditions, where the countries preparing for the accession become economically stronger so that their accession would also result in a bigger and economically stronger European Union.

The next steps in EU enlargement will be discussed next week in Brussels at the European Council.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) and director general of the European department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Siiri Königsberg were present at the meeting during the discussion o the enlargement related items on its agenda.

The European Union Affairs Committee adopted the government positions on the European Commission 2023 communication on EU enlargement policy in its amended form.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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