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Mikser in Berlin: developments outside EU borders affect all of us


Today, at a conference in Berlin devoted to European Union Neighbourhood Policy, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser stressed that a strong neighbourhood is in the EU’s own interests and said the topic would remain on the agenda throughout the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

“A stable neighbourhood is in the interests of the European Union’s own stability and security,” Mikser said. “What happens on the other side of the EU border affects us all, and for that reason, Estonia will keep the topic in the focus during the Estonian Presidency.” Mikser noted that Neighbourhood Policy is carried out in the interests of the EU’s own citizens above all and that Member States should do more to communicate and publicise it.

According to Mikser, EU is moving in the right direction with its Neighbourhood Policy. “Our neighbours – from Belarus to Morocco – have very different ambitions when it comes to integration with the EU.  If we take that into account and build our cooperation on common interests in future as well, this cooperation will be successful,” he said. “It’s also important to listen to one’s neighbours and tailor an individual approach,” he added.

“At the same time, we can’t overlook the challenges that we must confront as part of Neighbourhood Policy,” said Mikser. With regard to the Southern Neighbourhood, he listed internal conflicts, the threat of terrorism and the migration crisis, while in the case of Eastern Partnership, Mikser mentioned reforms that have stalled due to continuing conflicts and the security situation. “To overcome the obstacles, we have to find more opportunities for closer communication and cooperation,” he said.

Foreign Minister Mikser touched on Eastern Partnership separately, as it is front and centre under the Estonian Presidency “safe and secure Europe” priority. “We are acting to make sure that the results of the Eastern Partnership Summit in November would motivate all parties to continue to develop Eastern Partnership,” said Mikser. He said that ambitious goals should be set to buoy Eastern Partners’ enthusiasm for reforming their countries and societies.

Today’s conference in Berlin is entitled “European Neighbourhood Policy – Striving for Resilience and Reform” and is co-organised by the Estonian Presidency, the previous presidency holder Malta, and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.


Additional information:
Sandra Kamilova
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Communication Department


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