At yesterday’s meetings at the European Parliament, Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas introduced the upcoming Estonian Presidency’s priorities and their possible developments. According to Maasikas, the Estonian Presidency has to be introduced in different European Parliament Committees and this will also offer an opportunity to find out the positions and views of the MEPs.
Talking to the Chair of the Conference of the Committee Chairs Cecilia Wikström, Maasikas and Wikström also discussed matters related to the UK exit from the EU in addition to the priorities of the Estonian Presidency. “One of the most important topics of the negotiations is the protection of the rights of EU citizens, which means that current rights of the citizens living in the UK must be preserved,” Maasikas said. Deputy Minister and the Chair of the Conference of the Committee Chairs also discussed the asylum system reform and Wikström gave an overview of a report published today that analyses the proceedings and reception conditions of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection.
Deputy Minister Maasikas and the Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy Jerzy Buzek discussed energy and digital legislation, listed in the priorities of the Estonian Presidency, including opportunities to promote the digital single market and free movement of data. Priorities of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Estonian Presidency fully coincide. “Estonia will aim to keep focus on these topics and will do everything in its power to make the digital single market work and the digital signature used extensively,” Maasikas affirmed.
Priorities of the Estonian Presidency also include open and innovative economy in Europe. Meeting with the Chair of the Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange, trade agreements with third countries and updating the trade defence instruments were discussed, to update the rules of the EU Trade Defence Instruments, in particular the regulation against dumping.
Deputy Minister Maasikas and the Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Claude Moraes discussed matters related to human rights and migration, for example criminal records information system and finding balance between privacy and security in retaining the content of communication.
The upcoming UK exit negotiations were also discussed in every meeting. The withdrawal agreement must be approved by the European Parliament.
Communication Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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