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EU affairs committees meet for conference in Tallinn

At the meeting of EU affairs committee chairwomen and chairmen, Tallinn, July 9, 2017.
At the meeting of EU affairs committee chairwomen and chairmen, Tallinn, July 9, 2017. Source: (Riigikogu)

The Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union, short COSAC, is meeting in Tallinn. The meeting marks the opening conference of the parliamentary part of Estonia’s presidency of the EU council.

In it, the chairwomen and chairmen of the EU affairs committees of the EU’s parliaments come together to discuss current issues. The conference began on Sunday, opened by President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). The attending representatives got an overview of the priorities of Estonia’s first EU council presidency.

The conference addresses a range of issues, including innovation and startups. Among other things, discussions revolve around the question what needs to be done in Europe and at the national level of member states to support startups and help them become growing companies. The broader context is the EU’s competitiveness.

Vitsut hopes to connect issues of competitiveness and digital advantages

According to the chairman of the Riigikogu’s EU affairs committee, Toomas Vitsut (Center), parliamentary level cooperation in the European Union is more important than ever before. “In parliamentary debates, we usually find the right balance between different opinions, which is important for preserving the unity of the European Union,” Vitsut said.

He emphasised that during the presidency period, Estonia would try to raise issues where the contribution of the parliaments was vital. Topics relating to increasing the competitiveness of the EU, stressing solidarity in the conditions imposed by the migration crisis, and the future of the union were examples of such issues.

“I have invited my colleagues to Tallinn to discuss the best way to implement the Estonian presidency programme, and what conditions startups need in order to operate successfully in the EU,” Vitsut said. “I would like my colleagues to get to experience an almost paper-free administration process in Tallinn.”

More meetings in Tallinn to follow

COSAC is run by the previous, current, and coming EU council presidency state together. This presidential troika, currently consisting of Malta, Estonia, and Bulgaria (the latter to take over from Estonia at the end of the year), is also meeting in Tallinn.

The Estonian delegation in the troika is made up of MPs Toomas Vitsut (Center), Marianne Mikko (SDE), and Jaak Madison (EKRE).

The conference currently taking place in Tallinn is part of the preparations for a plenary meeting of the EU affairs committees from all member states, to take place in Tallinn in November.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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