Estonian, Finnish parlt committee chairs: Basic rights must be ensured even during crises

  • 2023-02-01
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Constitutional rights must be guaranteed to everyone even during any crisis, chair of the Estonian parliament's constitutional committee Eduard Odinets and chair of the Finnish parliament's constitutional law committee Johanna Ojala-Niemela found at a meeting held in Tallinn.

Odinets, who hosted his Finnish colleague, said that the issues of guaranteeing fundamental rights have repeatedly come up on the agenda in connection with the crises of the last few years, including the coronavirus, war and economic crisis.

"During the pandemic, these included various restrictions and obligations, such as keeping a distance or getting vaccinated. Russia's war against Ukraine again highlighted restrictions on Russian citizens, while the economic and energy crisis has brought up concerns related to people's coping," Odinets said.

"Regardless of the complexity of the crises, we must ensure that the fundamental rights of people are guaranteed to the maximum at both the legislative and executive levels," he added.

Ojala-Niemela said that, based on Finland's experience, the legislator is under pressure to act quickly in crises such as the pandemic.

"But even in exceptional circumstances, and especially in exceptional circumstances, we must take good care of our constitutional guarantees. Measures taken during crises must be necessary and proportionate," she added.

The meeting between Odinets and Ojala-Niemela took place within the framework of cooperation between Estonian and Finnish social democrats, in the course of which mutual visits and exchange of experiences take place. Both the Estonian Social Democratic Party and the Finnish Social Democratic Party belong to the Party of European Socialists (PES).