TALLINN - Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament, criticized on Friday the exclusion of the parliament from the discussion on the United Nations migration pact, which the government intends to join at the start of December.
"It is odd that the government has virtually bypassed the parliament and has taken the initiative not to disclose the details of such an important accord," Mihkelson was quoted by the spokespeople of the Riigikogu as saying.
"Migration has shaken the whole of Europe and thus it is extremely important to consider the topic in depth. Only after having heard the arguments and the debate will it be possible to decide if Estonia is to join the pact or not," Mihkelson, a member of the opposition Reform Party, said.
"Estonia is a parliamentary state and this debate needs to be had, even if it is at the very last minute," Mihkelson said. The migration pact is to be signed on Dec. 10-11 in Marrakech, Morocco.
Mihkelson proposed on Thursday that Foreign Minister Sven Mikser on Monday give an overview to the foreign affairs committee of Estonia's positions regarding the UN framework of global migration and refugees. Professor of international law Lauri Malksoo will present the committee his expert opinion.
The foreign affairs committee wishes to receive from Mikser an overview of the framework and Estonia's arguments for signing the accord.
Prime Minister Juri Ratas said during parliament question time on Wednesday that the framework is not legally binding and the recommendations will not entail any new commitments for Estonia.