At the informal meeting of the EU's foreign ministers (Gymnich) which continued in Tallinn on Friday, the need to preserve unity in different foreign political issues was emphasized.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) said that thus far, the EU had managed to keep a united front on key foreign policy issues.
"Adherence to our common policies is an important responsibility of all member states, and to maintain that unity, we need to be constructive and open to cooperation, and I am confident that we will be able to preserve that unity going forward as well," Mikser was quoted by spokespeople as saying, noting that a common position should be found on important matters. "Once we have agreed on something, we have to stick to it," he added.
A good practice developed at Gymnich meetings is that the current state of affairs in a given field is discussed with colleagues from candidate countries for EU membership. This time, the joint discussion addressed radicalization and how to prevent it. The EU shares a common European security space with its neighbors, and these countries are also the EU's main partners in ensuring stability and security.
"Radicalization and terrorism are our common concern," said the Estonian foreign minister. "We have to exchange information and make our cooperation even more effective. People are becoming radicalized at an ever-faster pace, with the internet playing a major role in this trend. That is why we are looking for ways to engage in prevention without fundamental civil liberties suffering as a result. The keywords here are youth outreach, and improving their education, employment level and living conditions."
The EU is working extensively in this area with the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. EU anti-terrorism experts are engaged in efforts and meetings, and consultations have been taking place in this field. A number of EU projects are being implemented in cooperation with these countries focusing mainly on prevention, with many activities aimed at younger parts of the population and NGOs.
Editor: Aili Vahtla