Labor party announces its anti-EU stance

  • 2000-12-14
TALLINN, (BNS) - The Estonian Social Democratic Labor Party declared at a congress Dec. 9 it is the first political party represented in this country's Parliament to take a stand against Estonia's entry into the European Union.

"We're against it because it isn't good for Estonia's independence and people," labor party leader Tiit Toomsalu told the Baltic News Service.

The congress approved the party's foreign and security policy platform according to which Estonia's status of associate member instead of full member of the EU is best for the country.

"We find that neither the EU nor Estonia is ready yet for the latter's joining. We're for the current status of associate member of the EU which affords the best position for protecting Estonia's national interests and keeping an eye on European developments," Toomsalu said.

He added that his party is unwilling to lead the Estonian people from one empire into another.

"Estonian leaders are steamrolling integration into the EU regardless of our national interests. The 2003 general elections in Estonia may turn into a trial of strength regarding both the European club and NATO," the party leader said in his speech at the congress.

Toomsalu added that while the labor party has for years steadfastly been of the opinion that alignment with the North European neutrality zone along with Finland and Sweden would be preferable to the NATO umbrella, it didn't have a firm opinion regarding entry into the EU.

"In light of the congress' resolution, our party's place in the Estonian political spectrum, which starts with Euro-optimists and ends with Euro-opponents, could be somewhere near the center as Euroskeptics," he said.

The congress reelected Toomsalu as chairman of the party.

The Social Democratic Labor Party is represented in Parliament by Toomsalu and Endel Paap who belong to the faction of the United People's Party.