Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in Tallinn on Wednesday, where the two discussed the future of the EU, the most important topics of Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU as well as security-related issues.
According to Ratas, Estonia and France's relations are currently better than ever before and he hoped that Wednesday's visit would provide an extra boost for further accelerate cooperation, according to a government press release.
"We highly value France's participation in the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia," said the Estonian prime minister. "Your presence adds a sense of security and ensures the security of the Baltic states. I am also glad that we will be able to visit Tapa Army Base together tomorrow."
At the meeting, the two heads of government also discussed the future of the EU and Ratas introduced Philippe to the key topics of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins on Saturday.
"It is most important to Estonia as holder of the presidency to lead 28 states in such a way that Europe would remain united, strong and hopeful," Ratas said. "Naturally one of our most important and recurring topics is a digital Europe and the free movement of data. Our goal is to work toward the free movement of data becoming the fifth freedom of the EU in the future as well as one of the cornerstones of a well-functioning internal market."
Also more broadly discussed at their meeting was the intensifying of cooperation between Estonia and France. "We see potential for cooperation in the cultural, digial and defense fields in particular," Ratas added.
Editor: Aili Vahtla