Estonian parliament's EU Affairs Committee to discuss migration

  • 2015-05-21
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, TALLINN

May 21 will see the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, begin discussions surrounding Estonia’s position in the EU’s latest agenda on migration. 

The agenda, presented by the European Commission on May 13, is intended to stabilise the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. May 2015 has seen at least 1,750 people perish when trying to cross the Mediterranean from regions in North and Western Africa. It is also intended to ensure the distribution of persons needing protection between EU member states. 

“The European Union Affairs Committee will shape Estonia’s position on the new European migration policy, when the European Commission has presented the proposal for a relevant EU legislative act and the government has approved its positions in regard to the draft,” said Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee, Kalle Palling.

“We will start with the discussion early in order to be ready to deal with the necessary legal acts.”

Estonian legislation does not provide for the resettlement of refugees. However, Palling added it is necessary to discuss how to shape the necessary procedure within the country. Whether it is needed to adapt Estonia’s legislation will also depend on the measures offered by the European Commission.

Estonia’s Minister of the Interior, Hanno Pevkur, Minister of Social Protection, Margus Tsahkna, plus members of the Legal Affairs Committee, Constitutional Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, have also been invited to the discussion.

Reports from the discussion will be made by the Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia, Hannes Rumm, and the Head of the Policy Department of the European Commission Representation, Paavo Palk.

By the end of May, the European Commission will suggest a proposal for EU legislation with its members states’ new policy on migration.