Estonia gets backing on scrapping subsidies

  • 2000-04-06
TALLINN (BNS) – The Estonian-European Union joint parliamentary committee at its meeting in Tallinn on March 28 called on the European Commission to abolish export subsidies for farm products exported to Estonia.

The committee also said it was necessary to start negotiations on trade in fish products.

Liberalization of bilateral trade may serve as a catalyst for the Estonian farm sector in the pre-accession period, the committee said.

Per Stenmarck, co-chairman of the joint committee of Estonia's Parliament and the European Parliament, said he does not believe that the EU would scrap export subsides before Estonia becomes a member of the union, although he considers it necessary.

"I'm working towards it in the Europarliament's budget committee but I'm in a minority," Stenmarck told reporters in the Estonian capital, where a session of the joint committee took place.

The committee called on the European Commission to weigh the possibility of providing aid for the rehabilitation of the environment in northeastern Estonia, which suffered seriously from extensive mining of oil shale during the decades of Soviet rule.

Taking into account the specific nature of the region, which includes its dependency on the oil shale industry, a mostly Russian population and high unemployment, special attention should be dedicated to it, the committee said.

Also, the committee recommended to ensure that pre-accession programs for Estonia were carried out with maximum regard to Estonia's present needs and in as efficient and transparent a manner as possible.