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Kalle Palling, the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, said that the Member States of the European Union should quickly ratify the free trade and association agreements concluded with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine at the European Council meeting last week.

“Free trade and association agreements with the European Union are very important for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and those three countries are waiting impatiently for the Member States to ratify the agreements,” said Palling.

Pursuant to the laws of Estonia, the agreements with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine do not have to be ratified in the Riigikogu because there is no need to amend the legislative acts of Estonia for implementing them, and these agreements also do not contain any other mandatory bases for ratification of foreign agreements provided in the Constitution.

But different countries have different laws, and in several Member States such agreements have to be approved by the parliaments. Palling acknowledged the states where the parliaments are ready to convene extraordinarily even in summer in order to ratify the agreements as soon as possible.

At today’s meeting of the EU Affairs Committee, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas gave an overview of the last meeting of the European Council on 26–27 June, where besides signing of the agreements with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, it was decided to propose Jean-Claude Juncker as candidate for President of the European Commission, and the priorities for the European Union in the next five years were agreed upon.

Besides that, the proposal of the European Commission, according to which euro will be adopted in Lithuania on 1 January 2015, was approved. The crisis in Ukraine was also discussed.

The priorities of the European Union in the next five years have been divided into five fields: 1) the EU as a strong global actor; 2) towards an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy; 3) a Union that empowers and protects all citizens, that is stronger outside and more caring inside; 4) a Union of jobs, growth and competitiveness; 5) a Union of freedom, security and justice.

The European Council is the meeting of the heads of state or government of the Member States, and the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament. The next meeting of the European Council will be held on 16 July.

Photos of the sitting:

The Riigikogu Press Service