Riigikogu committee to discuss strengthening foreign service next year

Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Marko Mihkelson. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson has promised to put the strengthening of Estonia's foreign service on the committee's meeting agenda next year.

"At the beginning of next year already, the Foreign Affairs Committee will definitely pay a lot of attention to analyzing our current foreign political situation, and we will definitely raise an important issue — and I know it is very topical in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well — whether and to what extent the Foreign Service Act should be updated," Mihkelson said in a year-end interview with the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute (EVI).

"I have said for years that, in reality, we have scarce resources in foreign politics," the committe chairman continued. "There is no abundance of it anywhere, but when we compare it to how much we focus on defense topics today, then diplomacy is like an orphan. Diplomacy is first and foremost an important field which should function in a way that we never have to use the resources that we set up for our defense."

As Estonia's next Riigikogu elections will be held in 2019, 2018 would be a suitable time to draw up interim reports and analyze the state of the field, he added.


The current government coalition, which came into power in November 2016, promised in its coalition agreement to strengthen Estonia's foreign service. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) also said in October that next year's budget plan, which was approved by the government, corresponds with the promise agreed upon in the coalition.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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