President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor met with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland. The discussion at the meeting focused on the topical issues relating to the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council Europe (PACE).
Nestor emphasised the key role of parliamentary democracy in ensuring the unity of Europe. Nestor said that the security of Estonia and several other European countries depended on how decisively the PACE acted. This issue was also discussed in the light of the manifestations of Euroscepticism that have emerged in Europe.
Regarding the relations between the PACE and Russia, Nestor and Jagland stressed it was necessary to keep the present course, which had resulted from lack of trust in the activities of Russia because of its aggressive behaviour.
It was emphasised at the meeting that the situation in Ukraine is still alarming. At the same time, hope was expressed that Georgia had made good progress with the reforms that helped the country on its way to Europe.
Jagland acknowledged Estonia’s role in ensuring cyber security and fighting against cyber crime, and Estonia’s readiness to ratify the Istanbul Convention in the nearest future.
At the meeting with Jagland, Head of the Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Marianne Mikko pointed out the priorities of the Estonian chairmanship of the Council of Europe. These priorities are human rights and rule of law in the Internet, gender equality and the rights of children. Rule of law in the Internet was spoken about in greater detail.
Mikko assured Jagland that in the nearest future Estonia would adopt the Lanzarote Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Mikko added that cyber terrorism, developments in Ukraine and the cooperation of the European Union and Turkey in managing the migration crisis were also discussed at the meeting.
Member of the Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mailis Reps and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Sven Mikser also participated in the meeting.
Estonia will hold the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from May to November in 2016.
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