Estonia’s far-right EKRE MPs vote against a statement supporting the EU and NATO

The Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) MPs voted against the parliament foreign affairs committee’s statement in support of the unity of the EU and NATO.

In the light of the current crisis, members of the Estonian parliament’s (Riigikogu) foreign affairs committee on 2 April adopted a statement in support of the unity of the European Union and NATO and the solidarity between the member states.

While the MPs of the prime minister’s party, the Centre Party, as well as the opposition MPs from the Reform Party and Social Democrats all voted in support of the statement, the committee’s two MPs of the far-right EKRE, Ruuben Kaalep and Anti Poolamets, voted against. Out of the two MPs of Isamaa party, also in the government, one (Mihhail Lotman) also voted in favour, while the other one (Raivo Tamm) abstained.

The statement underlines democracy, the rule of law and human rights

“For Estonia, the membership in the European Union and NATO has been invaluable for both security and economic development. Protection of the value space of the West has to be the priority of the allies today. Protection of dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the principle of the rule of law and human rights is essential. The EU must jointly resist all attempts to use a state of emergency to restrict the freedoms and the rights of its citizens,” the statement says.

“Since its accession, Estonia has been a reliable and constructive member state and cooperation partner of the European Union and NATO, and we wish to be that also in the future. The present challenge is complicated for all our partners and allies, but when we rely on strong trans-Atlantic relations, the hardships can be overcome faster through common efforts and coordinated cooperation,” the statement EKRE refused to back, also says.

Kaalep and Poolamets declined to comment, when asked by Estonian World.

EKRE is a radical, far-right and populist party that first entered the Estonian parliament in 2015, winning seven seats. In the 2019 election, the party more than doubled its seats and currently has 19 MPs. The party was subsequently invited to form the current government with the populist-leaning Centre Party and the centre-right Isamaa. The party’s leading figures have over the years stood out for their use of xenophobic, racist and homophobic rhetoric.

Cover: Ruuben Kaalep and Anti Poolamets (Riigikogu).

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