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The President of the Republic met with a committee of the Riigikogu

President Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg received the Riigikogu's European Affairs Committee to whom this event at the same time was their last regular meeting in their capacity as Members of the 9th Riigikogu. The main subjects of their discussion were the results of Estonia's accession talks with the European Union and preparations for the referendum ahead.

Tunne Kelam, Chairman of the Committee, briefed the President on the activities of the committee. He underscored that as for defending Estonia's national interests both concerning our negotiating positions and formulating our attitudes expressed at the Convention on the Future of Europe, the committee made up of representatives of different political forces had come to shared views, and their aim was to reach accord in the run-up to elections too.

Those Members of the European Affairs Committee, who represent the Riigikogu at the Convention on the Future of Europe, informed the Head of State about debates taking place at the convention. According to Tunne Kelam, the Estonian delegates proceeding from our national interests maintained concerted positions there, and this, also regarding the view that the European Union should remain an association of sovereign member states. In Liia Hänni's estimation, it was necessary to regularly discuss the convention’s standpoints and also to make relevant proposals in Estonia.

President Rüütel stressed the need to effectively inform the public about the above issues prior to the referendum scheduled for 14 September. The Head of State noted that people took interest in matters influencing their daily life and, therefore, during his upcoming county visits, he was intending to give them explanations on his part as well.

The Members of the European Affairs Committee appreciated President Rüütel’s positive role in informing the public. Furthermore, they underlined that statements of the Head of State had significantly contributed to the Estonian population’s increasing support to the accession to the European Union.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 10, 2003

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