Ratas: Estonia wants employment of oil shale sector considered in EU budget ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) discussed the European Union's budget for the next seven years and the Fair Transition Fund with the President of the European Council Charles Michel during a visit to Brussels.

The United Kingdom leaving the union has left a hole in the European Union's budget, while countries are unwilling to contribute to new activities. At the moment, it is difficult to reach an agreement, but the European Council president still wants to make a breakthrough at the European Council later this month.

For Estonia, it is important to maintain as much cohesion policy funding as possible, to increase direct payments to farmers and for Rail Baltic. Estonia also wants oil shale and coal to be treated equally in the fair transition fund.

The Ministry of Finance estimates that taking the employment of the oil shale sector into account would add an additional €40 million to the currently proposed €125 million grant.

Ratas told "Aktuaalne kaamera's" Brussels correspondent on Tuesday: "The fact that we were able to negotiate that oil shale is equal to coal, it's there, but not in all areas, for example, employment has not been taken into account. That was my suggestion today that Estonia definitely wants oil shale to be taken into account."

One of the biggest problems, Ratas said, is that today, there is not an agreed funding source for the fair transition fund. 

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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