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Ratas in Poland: Cooperation unites EU in common security, economic space

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Warsaw on Tuesday. Sept. 19, 2017.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Warsaw on Tuesday. Sept. 19, 2017. Source: (Triin Oppi/Government Communication Unit)

During a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Warsaw on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said that the strength of the European Union lies within its common values, freedoms and principles, such as the rule of law.

"We enjoy the fruits of European cooperation thanks to solidarity," Ratas said according to a government press release. "We have to listen to each other, find solutions to problems and lend a helping hand, if necessary." He noted that Estonia's objective during its current presidency of the Council of the EU is to guide 28 countries in making balanced decisions.

During Ratas' brief visit to Warsaw, the two prime ministers discussed issues currently topical in Europe, such as migration, cybersecurity, defense cooperation and the rights of posted workers, as well as regional transport and energy networks, security, and bilateral Estonian-Polish relations.

"We discussed matters related to the Posting of Workers Directive, in which we agreed that finding a balanced solution that takes both the rights of workers and the freedom of the internal market into consideration would be the best practice," Ratas said. "Estonia, as holder of the [EU] presidency, hopes that we can find a solution in October."

According to the Estonian prime minister, Estonia and Poland have close relations and strong economic ties. "I highly appreciate Poland's contributions to our regional security, their regular participation in NATO's Baltic Air Policing missions and defense spending of over two percent of their GDP," Ratas said, acknowledging Poland's strategic partnership with Estonia.

There are new developments in regional transport infrastructure projects, Ratas said, praising Poland for giving more and more thought to the Rail Baltic project. "It is important now to ensure that the project remains on schedule and receives the necessary financing from the future EU budget," he added.

According to Ratas, the Via Baltica project will also see the reconstruction of several sections of road in order to increase their capacity and safety as well as decrease travel time. Likewise important is ongoing cooperation between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in developing energy infrastructure, including the Baltics' desynchronization process from the BRELL energy network.

The two prime ministers also talked about the development of digital society, which will be discussed in greater detail next week, when EU leaders arrive in Estonia for the Tallinn Digital Summit on Sept. 29.

"I am glad that Poland and Estonia share the same visions for a digital Europe," Ratas said. "I am looking forward to our meeting next week. My colleagues and I will direct our focus to the future of European digital society — thinking not just of tomorrow or the day after, but of the year 2025. I believe that our discussions can help us give a strong boost to the establishment of a digital European economy."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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