No. 14




Without Schengen, Estonia is not really in Europe

18 December 2006


RiTo No. 14, 2006

  • Marko Mihkelson

    Marko Mihkelson

    Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, Pro Patria Union

In terms of its pro-European attitude, which at times seems unshakeable, Estonia is far ahead of practically all the other EU member states: nowhere else in Europe is support and confidence in the Communities as high it is in Estonia (78%).

However, today we are in a situation where the European Union is internally more fragmented than unitary. The problems that have arisen in the new enlargement of the Schengen space are a telling sign that it is time for the European Union to seriously reconsider its strategic goals. As we know, ten new member states along with Bulgaria and Romania, which are about to join, are currently not in the euro zone or Schengen. The political maelstroms of populism of the last few years – from popular unrest in Budapest, to Slovakia and Poland’s actions, which shook European values – have of course not contributed to any appreciable progress toward the Europe’s so-called “full-service package”. In spite of this, we must not forget that Europe is still at its strongest and most unified only after it has freed itself from internal obstacles, after it stops pigeonholing various countries. The motto for Europe – unity in diversity – should not in any way mean that different member states should have markedly different possibilities for complying with their rights as members and exercising their rights.

Full article in Estonian