(We preface this announcement with a quote from the webpage of the President of Estonia, which appears as a mission statement.)
Estonia is our country, created by our own parents and grandparents, she is our joy and delight. It is only ourselves – all of us – that have the privilege and also the duty to decide how we move ahead and what kind of Estonia we leave for our children to inherit.>
The Estonian Riigikogu ratified the Treaty of Lisbon on Wednesday, 11 June. The Treaty of Lisbon will amend the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community.
According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the Lisbon Treaty will make the functioning of the European Union more simple and straightforward. One of the most important changes occasioned by the Lisbon Treaty is the conforming of the institutional framework of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty will make European Union institutions more efficient and increase their democratic legitimacy. The new treaty also provides for the possibility of motions made by citizens.
The Lisbon Treaty is very significant in shaping the role of the European Union in the world. A smoother decision-making process will ensure more effective policies, which in turn will make the Union more substantial in the international arena. In addition, the goals, principles and means of external activity are more clearly stated, and separate emphasis is placed on the Neighbourhood Policy. The foreign minister stated that the treaty calls for the creation of a unified European Union foreign service as well. “A strong and unified European Union foreign service is also in the best interest of small nations,” Paet noted.
Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that the treaty will also strengthen many policy areas that are crucial to Estonia. “This is the first time that this sort of basic treaty will address, for example, a common European Union energy policy,” said Paet. In addition, the ratification and enforcement of the treaty will take away the arguments of those who have been against the further enlargement of the European Union.
The Treaty of Lisbon has already been ratified by Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland. The treaty has also been ratified in the European Parliament. The only country that is holding a referendum for the treaty is Ireland.
Estonia ratifies Lisbon Treaty (5)