Today, on 8 September, the two-day informal meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers (Gymnich) in Tallinn continued. Officials discussed the working methods of the Foreign Affairs Council, speaking first and foremost about the need to preserve unity on various foreign policy topics.
Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that so far, the EU had managed to keep a united front on key foreign policy issues. “Adherence to our common policies is an important responsibility of all Member States, and to maintain that unity we need to be constructive, open to cooperation and, I am confident – that we will be able to preserve that unity going forward as well,” said Mikser. Mikser said a common position should be found on the important matters. “Once we have agreed on something, we have to stick to it.”
A good practice developed at Gymnich meetings is that the current state of affairs in a given field is discussed with colleagues from candidate countries for EU membership. This time, the joint discussion addressed radicalisation and how to prevent it. The EU shares a common European security space with its neighbours and these countries are also the EU’s main partners in ensuring stability and security.
“Radicalisation and terrorism are our common concern,” said Foreign Minister Mikser. “We have to exchange information and make our cooperation even more effective. People are becoming radicalised at an ever-faster pace, with the internet playing a major role in this trend. That is why we are looking for ways to engage in prevention without fundamental civil liberties suffering as a result. The keywords here are youth outreach, and improving their education, employment level and living conditions.”
The EU is working extensively in this area with the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. EU anti-terrorism experts are engaged in efforts and meetings and consultations have been taking place in this field. In cooperation with these countries, a number of EU projects are being implemented focusing mainly on prevention, with many activities meant for younger parts of the population and NGOs.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs