Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The first delegation of the Riigikogu was established in September 1991 shortly after the restoration of independence of Estonia. It had a special guest status until Estonia acceded to the Council of Europe in May 1993.
The delegation has three permanent members (Ms Kristiina Ojuland – head of the delegation, Mr. Lauri Vahtre and Mr. Anti Liiv) and three substitute members (Mr. Elmar-Johannes Truu, Mr. Ivar Tallo and Mr. Sergei Ivanov).
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has four part-sessions in a year per one week in Strasbourg. The members of the delegation belong to four different political groups and work at the different parliamentary committees which are meeting between the part-sessions. The members of the delegation are rapporteurs in their relevant committees. In their political groups the members of the delegation make lobby work in the interests of Estonia.
The main aim of the delegation is to represent the Riigikogu in the international organisation and actively participate in the common European projects. There is close cooperation between the delegations of three Baltic States.
The Council of Europe plays an important role in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law in its member states. Therefore it has a part to play in Estonia‘s integration to the European Union where the Copenhagen criteria demand from the candidate countries political stability and existing democratic institutions. The delegation uses an opportunity to exchange the information with the other delegations of the European Union candidate countries.