President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE), Vice-President of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa (Center) and representatives of the parliamentary groups and committees of the Riigikogu met with the College of Commissioners of the European Commission, headed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in Tallinn on Friday.
The College of Commissioners are visiting Tallinn in connection with the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, which began on Saturday and will last through the end of 2017, according to a Riigikogu press release.
Nestor said that the European Commission believes that the Estonian presidency will be very good, and that Estonia now has to make the effort in order to meet these expectations and give its best.
European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King highlighted the cooperation between Estonia and the European Commission in countering radicalization both online and in local communities. "Together, we are going to take a number of concrete steps over the next six months to help increase the security of our citizens all across the EU," he said.
Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Valdis Dombrovskis said that the economic benefit of the presidency for a country depended on taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the presidency both for marketing and in the economy. "The presidency gives much greater visibility to the country than you could otherwise possibly get," he explained.
According to European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, during its presidency, the greatest changes Estonia will make in the transport sector will be in aviation, by fulfilling the security package necessary for its development.
Vice President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip expressed hope that during the Estonian presidency, it would be possible to abolish unjustified geoblocking in the EU, which hindered the functioning and development of the digital single market.
In the area of foreign and security policy, Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen and member of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Margus Tsahkna emphasized, in addition to several other issues, the importance of cooperation in countering hybrid and cyber threats.
Also discussed at a meeting with the leaders of the parliamentary groups and committees of the Riigikogu were the priorities of the Estonian presidency, defense issues and the development of the e-services of the digital single market.
Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Toomas Vitsut (Center), Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Sven Sester (IRL), Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee Remo Holsmer (Reform) and member of the National Defence Committee Margus Tsahkna gave the commissioners an overview of parliamentary events to be held during the coming six months. The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Reform Party parliamentary group Hanno Pevkur and Social Democratic Party (SDE) member Liisa Oviir.
Nestor and Juncker also had a short bilateral meeting, in which Nestor assured Juncker that during its EU presidency, Estonia wanted to contribute to strengthening the cooperation and unity of the EU.
Editor: Aili Vahtla