Ratas meets with Finland's Sipilä ahead of jubilee joint government meeting

Prior to the joint meeting of the governments of Estonia and Finland in Tallinn on Monday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) met with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä to discuss the state of affairs and common interests in the EU.

Last week, the European Commission proposed the EU budget for 2021-2027, in which it requests additional funding for digitalization, young people, science and innovation, migration, the management of external borders as well as security, the government said in a press release.

According to Ratas, the Commission's proposal takes the important aims of Estonia into account: ensuring better connectivity of different regions of Europe, leveling direct payments in agriculture to the average EU level, and considering the prosperity of countries the main requirement for granting EU support.

Ratas admitted that long and difficult negotiations lay ahead, as the European Commission aims to keep the budget at its current size or larger in order to fund joint activities despite the fact that the U.K., formerly a large contributor to the budget, is leaving the EU.

"A strong, stable, and future-oriented EU that aims to improve the well-being of its people is important to Estonia," he said. "This means that we want more Europe, not less, and we, too, are ready to consider increasing our contribution."

Ratas and Sipilä also discussed the topics of the EU-Western Balkans summit to take place in Sofia, Bulgaria next week.

The Estonian head of government also provided Sipilä with an overview of preparations underway for the digital summit to take place in Tallinn this fall, the topics of which include global data management and artificial intelligence and their uses in e-governance, economy and defense.

"While the Finns have learned about the exchange of data from Estonia, then we could, in turn, learn from their experiences of using artificial intelligence," Ratas said.. Finland is actively preparing to use artificial intelligence in the public sector."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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