Ratas meets with Czech prime minister to discuss Estonian EU presidency ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas with Czech Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague on Tuesday. May 23, 2017.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas with Czech Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague on Tuesday. May 23, 2017. Source: (Ave Tampere/Government Office)

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague on Tuesday to discuss th priorities of the upcoming Etonian presidency of the Council of the EU, the Czech Republic's interests in the EU, bilateral relations and the future of the EU.

"Bilateral relations between Estonia and the Czech Republic are very good, including in the defense sector," Ratas said according to a government press release. "We appreciatethe Czech Republic's contribution to security in the Baltic countries under NATO deterrence measures and the Czech Republic's participation in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD CDOE) in Tallinn."

Speaking about the priorities of the Estonian presidency of the EU, Ratas said that he was pleased that the Czech Republic was supporting Estonia's objectives. "Estonia and the Czech Republic are close partners in the development of the EU's internal market and we can also count on support from the Czech Republic concerning the issue of the free movement of data.

The Estonian prime minister alo noted that his Czech counterpart has actively led the discussion on Europe's defense, which will be an important issue during Estonia's term of the EU presidency.

Ratas and Sobotka attended a conference on the free movement of data in Prague, where the Estonian prime minister also made a brief speech. At the beginning of the conference, the prime ministers held a minute of silence for the victims of Monday night's terrorist attack in Manchester.

Priorities of the Estonian presidency of the EU, which will begin in just over one month, include an open and innovative economy, European security, the promotion and development of a digital Europe, including the free movement of data, as well as an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

The head of government of the incoming EU presidency typically visits a number of member states beforehand in order to present and promote the priorities and program of their country's presidency and discuss opportunities for closer cooperation. On this trip, Ratas has visited Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia and will also visit Romania.

Ratas is scheduled to return to Estonia on Wednesday afternoon.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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