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Estonia Feels Precise and Individual Approach Needed in European Union Neighbourhood Policy


No. 223-E

At their meeting today in Luxembourg, the European Union foreign ministers approved a new approach to both its southern and eastern neighbours. Foreign Minister Paet stated that a more individualised approach will be taken with the European Union’s neighbouring countries and the EU’s support will be more dependent on each particular nation’s development and progress than it was previously.

Both our southern and eastern neighbours are equally important to the European Union, Paet confirmed. “Both affect Europe’s future in different ways and we would like to make European Union Neighbourhood Policy more effective in order to promote co-operation and support our neighbours in accordance with their needs, opportunities and goals,” he explained.

Paet stated that the European Union’s bilateral relations with all of the Neighbourhood Policy Partner Countries as well as multi-lateral and regional co-operation through Eastern Partnership and the Mediterranean Union must both be developed. “Although there are dramatic events going on in our southern neighbourhood right now, our Eastern Partners also need our continual attention and positive long-term perspectives for their hard work,” he noted.

Paet feels that political and economic co-operation should be promoted, with special attention given to democracy, rule of law, and creating institutions in our neighbouring countries. “Estonia completely supports strengthening European Neighbourhood Policy, especially through free trade agreements and by facilitating movement with the help of visa facilitation agreements,” he added.

The ministers also discussed the most recent events in the southern neighbourhood and in the Arab world, especially in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. “Violence has spread in Syria and the European Union condemns the repressions and violent crushing of demonstrations,” stated the Estonian foreign minister. “The challenges facing Syria and the other countries in the region should be resolved through dialogue,” he said.

According to the foreign minister, Estonia feels it is important to begin a discussion on post-conflict activities now already, and Paet thinks the European Union should take a more active role in this discussion. “We also feel it is essential to investigate human rights violations in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen,” he added.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

+372 637 7654



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