Foreign Minister Sven Mikser focused on security, the future of Europe, and protection of Estonia’s citizens and promotion of Estonia’s business interests in his annual speech in the Riigikogu today.
Mikser said that in recent years, one of the most fundamental challenges for democracies has been the challenge posed to liberal democratic values, but giving up those values under populist pressure is an error we cannot permit ourselves to make. He added that the system of international relations based on rules that take into account our convictions has allowed us to secure our liberty, security and prosperity. "This system will continue to serve us well if we only care enough for it together with our allies and partners,” Mikser said.
“Today, both the philosophy and practice of our foreign policy rests on a stable foundation, but we will have to be bolder and more creative in future. We have to be open to the world around us, engage in cooperation and support other countries and peoples who so badly need it,” Mikser added.
Speaking about security, Mikser noted that the best antidote to any security threat is unity of allies andtpartners who share the same values. “Just as important as NATO’s military readiness is solidarity in the European Union, along with EU and NATO cooperation,” Mikser stated. He added that the greater contribution from European allies will of course also improve Atlantic security. The foreign minister is convinced that Estonia’s security interests will be best protected if the Security Council includes a country that is located in our region and shares similar values and perception of security. Largely because of this, Estonia is seeking a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2020-21 period.
Talking about the future of Europe, Mikser emphasised that maintaining people’s faith and trust in Europe is of critical importance and we should not forget that the future of the European Union is in our own hands. “No decision in Europe is reached without us participating in it and richer by the experience of our successful Presidency, we can become one of the leaders of future development in the EU,” Mikser affirmed and asked people to join the discussions on the future of Europe.
The foreign minister emphasised the importance of the EU’s capability to take action in crises. “The European Union’s common position on the Russian aggression against Ukraine underscores this, as it firmly upholds the fundamental principles of the European security architecture and deplores flagrant violations of international law,” Foreign Minister Mikser stated and added that Estonia and other partners continue to provide support for key reforms in Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries and will continue to support the European aspirations of these countries.
Touching on the issue of protection of Estonia’s citizens, the foreign minister confirmed that Estonians can count on assistance anywhere in the world and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done all it can to offer solutions even in the most difficult situations. Mikser also recognised the dedication of economic diplomats to protect the interests of Estonian entrepreneurs.
In his closing statement, the foreign minister emphasised that more must be invested into the foreign service in complicated times. “In the end, diplomacy is the most effective and actually, the most cost-effective means of ensuring our security. The security, economic well-being and sense of security of the people of Estonia will continue to be the main function and source of inspiration for foreign policy activity. Foreign policy does not serve itself; it works for the interests of our people.” Foreign Minister Mikser wrapped up his speech.
Read the full text: http://vm.ee/en/news/address-minister-foreign-affairs-mr-sven-mikser-dis...
Video from the speech (in estonian): https://vimeo.com/255549790
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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