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Kaljulaid, Ratas meet EU high representative Federica Mogherini

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Federica Mogherini and Kersti Kaljulaid in Tallinn on Friday. May 12, 2017.
Federica Mogherini and Kersti Kaljulaid in Tallinn on Friday. May 12, 2017. Source: (Arno Mikkor/Office of the President)

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Tallinn on Friday morning, where topics in focus included internal EU developments as well as EU's role in the wider world. A meeting with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) discussed the Eastern Partnership, among other topics.

"The EU must become internally stronger and more confident as well; then our word will have more weight externally also," Kaljulaid was quoted by an Office of the President press release as saying. "Today the EU is perhaps too focused on being beneficial to as many individual EU citizens as possible, but we should focus more on what the common interests of the community as a whole are."

At their meeting, the two leaders discussed Europe's future, including the strengthening and expansion of defense cooperation. According to the Estonian president, the EU's door is open to all liberal and democratic countries who share the same values as the union. "But these countries' goal and the object of their aspirations must be these values, not the benefits received as though in exchange from the EU," she clarified. "Only thus can the union remain strong and united."

Kaljulaid and Mogherini also discussed Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, the situations in Syria and Ukraine and Russia's role in these conflicts as well as EU-African relations.

Also discussed in depth was the Eastern Partnership, which will be the focus of a summit Estonia is organizing in Brussels during its EU presidency.

Põhjalikult käsitleti idapartnerluse teemat, mille teemalise tippkohtumise Eesti EL eesistujana teisel poolaastal Brüsselis korraldab.

Ratas: Defended and secure Europe a priority of upcoming EU presidency

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Mogherini on Friday as well. The meeting discussed foreign and security policy, migration, the EU’s Eastern Partnership, and matters concerning the upcoming Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

According to Ratas, one of Estonia’s priorities for the presidency is a defended and secure Europe. “We’ll work to increase the European Union’s military capability for example through commonly financed military missions. At the same time it’s important to support the EU’s eastern partners and the countries of the South Balkans, maintain good transatlantic relations, and work with the African and South American countries at a high level,” the prime minister said.

Beyond matters related to migration and the European external borders, Mogherini and Ratas also discussed the upcoming summit of the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries in Brussels on Nov. 25 this year. The event falls into the period of Estonia’s council presidency. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus are part of the program.

“We need to increase the European Union’s visibility in the partner countries and talk more about our common success stories, like for example the Erasmus+ student exchange, trade, but also about problems, for example Russia’s increasing attempts to influence [these countries],” Ratas said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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