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Estonian report Estonian report
by Euro Reporter
2010-04-29 10:36:16
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More International Meetings? Not Now.

The next major international event Estonia will host after the NATO foreign ministers summit last week will most likely be the EU, Latin-American and Caribbean states summit in 2018. Since Estonia will be the presiding state of the EU in the first half of 2018, the EU and Latin American heads of state and governments meeting will most likely take place in Tallinn then. That summit would bring to Tallinn a third of heads of states of the entire world.

The EU and Latin American summits take place every two years as a rule. This year’s summit takes place in May in Madrid. In the previous summit in Peru, 27 EU member states and EU institutions and 33 Latin American states were present.

European Commission’s representation in Estonia confirmed that according to current logic, the EU-Latin American summit would take place in 2018 in Tallinn. The representation’s media adviser Erkki Bahovski pointed out though that by then, the EU foreign relations secretariat would have a much bigger role than now and it can take a large part of organising work on its shoulders.


We believe that there are no spheres of influence

The beginning of the NATO informal meeting of Foreign Ministers that is taking place during today and tomorrow in Tallinn saw a joint press conference with the Estonian MFA Urmas Paet and the USA Secretary of State Ms. Hillary Clinton explaining to a crowd of journalists the status of the relations between the two countries. The host, Estonian Minister Paet, explained that during his meeting with Ms. Clinton several issues as Russia, European security and bilateral cooperation in Afghanistan and Moldova were discussed together with one of the topic that is soon going to keep busy also the room of United Nations: gender equality and defense of human rights.

Labeling the relations between United States and Estonia as “Excellent”, Mr. Paet then left the microphone to Ms. Hillary Clinton who started her intervention pleasing the progresses made by Estonia during the last years. “When I came here in 1994, Estonia just began building democratic and economic institutions and when I came back only ten years later, the country was already a proud member of the NATO Alliance and the European Union. Now, in 2010, Estonia is a trusted and valid ally” she said adding that the country and fully be considered as a “model for new democracies”.

After thanking Minister Paet for the Estonian commitment in Afghanistan and for the humanitarian aids the country promptly sent to Haiti, the USA Secretary of State also stressed how “Estonia can do a lot to help other countries in term of technology” adding also that the success proven by the Estonian experience should be used as a model for further enlargement of the NATO alliance. Questioned about Iran, North Korea, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, Secretary Clinton spent also some interesting words about security in Europe and the role played by Russia in the Eastern part of the conference. “We believe that there are no spheres of influence” explained Ms. Clinton before giving her interpretation of the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

“Ukraine ins trying to have a balanced approach in foreign policy” she said explaining how the new President is trying to balance both Russian and US interests: “It is a hard balancing act but it makes sense to us.” The only polemic note of the conference came from the Estonian Foreign Minister whom, completing Ms. Clinton words about energy security, wanted to stress that in his opinion “Some EU countries care less about energy security than US”.


Paet and Kouchner discussed Estonia’s accession to euro area

During their meeting in Tallinn, Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Paet and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner discussed Estonia-France defence-related cooperation, issues related to candidacy to become the location for the EU IT agency for justice and home affairs, accession to the euro zone, and Estonia’s application to join the International Organisation of the Francophonie, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia reports. Paet and Kouchner agreed that good defence-related co-operation exists between Estonia and France and that it should become even closer.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet thanked his French colleague for the air policing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – starting in January; France is participating in the air policing mission over the Baltic states. “France is participating in the Baltic air policing mission for the second time already, and we greatly appreciate that,” stated Paet. While talking about security co-operation, the ministers also addressed the sale of Mistral-type ships to Russia. Paet confirmed that Estonia has submitted its official application to become the home country for the European Union IT agency for justice, freedom and security.

“We feel it is important to use information technology more effectively than before in the European Union internal security sector, which is why it is necessary to create a separate IT agency. Taking into consideration Estonia’s highly-developed IT sector, we believe that Estonia possesses all the qualifications to be a good location for the agency,” stated the foreign minister. “Establishing the IT agency in Estonia would create useful co-operation opportunities for both us and France regarding the more effective use of information technology in the European Union internal security sector,” Paet added. The Estonian Foreign Minister said that it is important to adhere to the 2003 decision of the European Council, according to which new European Union agencies should be located in new member states.

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