Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) confirmed at Monday's meeting with Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis that Estonia takes the economic recommendations of the European Commission seriously, and recognized the Commission's efforts in observing the economies of EU member states.
"Estonia's state budget is strong and the government is committed to keeping the budget in balance within the goals of the medium to long-term perspective," Ratas said according to a government press release. "The government submitted to the Riigikogu a state budget bill with a structural deficit of 0.25 percent of the GDP. It is in accordance with Estonia's fiscal goal and this accordance is what the European Commission assesses."
In addition to a responsible fiscal policy, the European Commission has made recommendations to Estonia for reducing the gender pay gap as well as increasing public benefit from research and development activities. According to the prime minister, these goals are all important to the government and the government has already introduced some measures regarding these issues.
Ratas emphasized that the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) must be strong and functioning in order for Europe's economy to grow and the risk for potential crises arising to be smaller. "The EMU successfully exited its first more serious crisis and without losing any members," he noted. "The economy of the eurozone is increasing faster than expected and unemployment has fallen to the lowest level since 2009. An important prerequisite for a strong monetary union is a permanently fast economic growth.
"Still, countries' economies recover from crises differently," Ratas continued. "The debt level of many countries makes them vulnerable should there be a new recession. In some countries, the unemployment level is still high. This feeds discontent and creates fertile ground for populism and people who are against the EU. All of this also affects the stability of the single currency."
Among other responsibilities, Dombrovskis is in charge of developing the European Economic and Monetary Union.
Editor: Aili Vahtla