The general assembly of the Estonian session of the Model European Parliament is held today in the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia). It was opened by President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas, who spoke to the young people about the role, importance and responsibility of decision-makers.
Ratas told the members of the Model European Parliament that on 20 August, the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence of Estonia had been celebrated in the Session Hall of the Riigikogu. In his opinion, it is symbolic that the young people are holding their session in the same place to discuss the issues of the future of the European Union. “For as long as you have lived, Estonia has been a member of the European Union, and this has been a successful time in every sense,” Ratas said. “It has been a time of peace, a time of movement without borders, an opportunity for learning, for economic growth, for strengthening cultural connections.”
“You are the decision-makers of the future, you have very big role,” Ratas emphasised. “Your responsibility is growing day by day, and I mean your responsibility not only for your municipality or city and Estonia, but also in Europe. This is not just responsibility for Tallinn and Estonia, but it is responsibility towards 500 million people.”
The President of the Riigikogu underlined that the young people of today would soon have to decide what would become of internal combustion engines, what would become of energy, what would become of East-Virumaa. Besides topics connected with climate and the green transition, there are issues relating to security and the future of the European Union.
“Will you allow to set up wind turbines on the territory of your municipality, or what should the relations between the European Union and Russia be like? It is a very serious and necessary discussion,” Ratas described the challenges faced by the young people. “These are serious and important questions. I wish you a lot of strength for that, and readiness to make compromises, and success!” With these words, Ratas opened today’s session of Model Europe.
Ratas pointed out that, in decision-making, it was important to proceed from the values the European Union was based on, like freedom, democracy, the rule of law, cooperation and solidarity.
After a break of one year due to the pandemic, the European Parliament simulation for school students, which has been organised since 2003, is again taking place today at the Riigikogu. The topics of discussion of the 16th Estonian Model European Parliament are very diverse, ranging from the green transition to football. Some of the young people participating in the session will become members of the Estonian delegations to the Model European Parliament Baltic Sea Region and the international session of the Model European Parliament.
Photos. (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)
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