The inclusion of Estonian MP Urmas Reitelmann, who had previously made politically incorrect remarks about Russian-speaking citizens of Estonia, to the PACE Estonian delegation, has not gone unnoticed by the media. However, the most important thing is that the Estonian domestic political issue is thus brought to the level of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, Matvey Katkov said today in the National Question program on Vesti.FM.
The expert noted that today, PACE includes nine specialized committees, but none of them specifically deals with the issues of interethnic relations.
“At first glance, this can be regarded as a signal that the sphere of national relations does not need to be considered within the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, but today this is not quite true. Today, in my opinion, we observe a certain silence on this topic at the PACE level but at the same time, for some delegations, this issue, on the contrary, is extremely relevant,” the analyst said.
According to him, in the future, this trend may have far-reaching negative consequences and even harm the integration policy of the Council of Europe. "The individual national delegations bring their own regional, often internal political issues to the PACE discussion, and the Parliamentary Assembly, therefore, does not develop a pan-European policy within the Council of Europe. In the global sense, this seems to indicate a certain weakness of European integration mechanisms. I don’t want to directly compare PACE with the European Parliament, these are different organizations, albeit with similar goals, but the same trend can be observed in the latest elections to the European Parliament, when many European voters carried their domestic agenda to the polls, and this contradicts the very essence of an integrated approach,” the expert continued.
"The internal political struggle in the EU member states should not prevail over the pan-European agenda. And in PACE, in my opinion, we are witnessing such a development today. In this regard, it is not surprising that Reutelmann himself called the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe a lip service”, Matvey Katkov concluded.