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The President of the Republic met with the European Ombudsman

President Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg met with European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros to discuss the fundamental human rights and their protection in the European Union.

According to the President of the Republic, he was glad to welcome the European Ombudsman since although Estonia had worked hard to return to the European legal space, any advice and help were still welcome.

According to Ombudsman Diamandouros, in the case that Estonia should decide to join the European Union, he would be glad to offer his own and his Office's services to the Estonian people, and inform them about their rights and opportunities in the European Union. The Ombudsman affirmed that the European Union was protecting the identity, languages and culture of its Member States, and added that his Office, too, was already preparing for Estonia's accession to the EU and was looking for an official knowing Estonian language and legal culture.

The European Ombudsman acquainted the President of the Republic with a draft, which he intended to present to the Intergovernmental Conference, and which would prescribe that people in order to protect their rights would be entitled not only to go to court but also to address Chancellor of Justice or Ombudsman. President Rüütel promised to familiarize himself with the draft more thoroughly and to discuss it with Estonian relevant specialists.

The institution of European Ombudsman was created by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 and an Ombudsman is elected to office by the European Parliament. Nikiforos Diamandouros has been European Ombudsman since 1 April 2003.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, September 11, 2003

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