Prime Minister Jüri Ratas presented Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg with Estonian e-residency at a meeting in Tallinn where the two had discussed the priorities of Estonia's upcoming EU presidency as well as Estonian-Norwegian cooperation.
"Beginning in July, the Estonian presidency [of the Council of the EU] will be looking for solutions to the migration and refugee crisis as well as to the issues of energy and climate," Ratas said. "It also coincides with the start of Brexit talks. Here, the most important thing for Estonia is to maintain the unity and decisiveness of the EU, which is also important for the Kingdom of Norway and all other EU partners."
The Estonian prime minister introduced Solberg to the priorities of the Estonian EU presidency, emphasizing Estonia's interest in developing a digital Europe and promoting the free movement of data. "The free movement of data should be a natural part of the European Single Market and the fifth fundamental right in the EU," he added.
According to Ratas, Estonia is interested in strengthening cyberecurity- and IT-related cooperation with Norway and initiating negotiations on the mutual recognition of e-residecy and digital signatures. The Estonian prime minister also ceremonially presented Solberg with Estonian e-residency and an e-resident ID card.
The two prime ministers' meeting also focused on bilateral relations between Estonia and Norway. Ratas acknowledged Norway's active involvement in ensuring the region's security.
"Norway's contributions to our security through the Baltics' Air Policing Mission and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn is undoubtedly important," he said. "Norway is a valued ally of Estonia both in NATO and the Nordic region; we have similar views and good and intertwined relations."
Ratas and Solberg's meeting also covered topics including the EU's Eastern Partnership and relations with Russia. Ratas noted that Estonia is interested in long-term cooperation with Norway in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, especially in Ukraine. The aim of the Eastern Partnership is to strengthen the cooperation and integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus with the EU.
The meeting also covered the topics of the EU’s Eastern Partnership and relations with Russia. Ratas noted that Estonia is interested in a long-term cooperation with Norway in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, and especially in Ukraine. The aim of the Eastern Partnership is to strengthen the cooperation and integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus with the EU.
Editor: Aili Vahtla