Of Estonia in Europe and of Europe in Estonia
The writer believes that things have gone fairly well for Estonia as a member state in its first five years in the European Union.
In 2004, the most important task was to establish the country’s presence in the European Union system, to become accustomed to the decision-making and consultation system, and to find topics that Estonia could contribute to developing. During the last European Parliament, one of the most important initiatives for Estonia and the entire Baltic region was the Baltic Sea Strategy developed by the European Parliament’s “Baltic Europe” Inter-Group, which was adopted in late 2006 by the plenary session of parliament and more recently by the member states as well. This shows that even non-official initiatives can be successful and that the various forms of cooperation in parliament should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, in the opinion of the writer, Estonia’s contribution in supporting this strategy proved more modest than hoped for. Looking toward the future, the writer finds a number of topics that will start seeing broader action in both the European Parliament and the European Union. The most important activity in the coming year will undoubtedly be the implementation of the changes stemming from the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Insofar as the role of the European Parliament in deciding the legislation of the European Union is currently increasing to nearly 100%, this signifies an increased workload and means that member states, including Estonia, will have to pay significantly more attention to cooperation with European Parliament.