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Ratas in Brussels to discuss volume, priorities of next EU budget

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) is attending an informal meeting of the heads of state and government of the European Union today Friday. The meeting will discuss the priorities and volume of the union’s next budget period starting 2021. Other matters to be discussed are the distribution of seats in the European Parliament, and the election of top EU leaders.

Ratas along with Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė made a statement to EU colleagues last week outlining the position of the Baltic States regarding the next financial framework of the union. The Baltic states want to focus on better connectivity, regional development and welfare, fairer direct support to farmers, and the funding of issues concerning migration and security.

According to Ratas, Kučinskis, and Grybauskaitė, the Baltic States are convinced that if the new and common objectives are to be achieved, the Union’s resources should amount to more than one percent of its combined GDP.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania want to discuss ways to maintain the level of the current long-term budget even beyond Brexit, and have said that they are ready to increase their contribution to the common budget.

Ratas will also meet with his Baltic and Nordic colleagues before the meeting and participate in a conference of the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations, and the G5 Sahel countries focused on finding contributors to the Sahel Joint Force and support for the peace process in Mali.

The G5 Sahel countries include Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad, and they are part of the sub-Saharan African region, whose development is hampered by terrorism, violent extremism, and poverty.

Ratas is expected back late on Friday evening.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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