Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on Tuesday met with Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, whom he assured that Estonia wants a strong and united EU. To this end, Estonia supports increased funding for science and innovation, digitalisation, cross-border connectivity, and defence and security cooperation in the EU budget.
At their meeting, Ratas highlighted the financing of the connectivity of the EU as an important issue for Estonia, according to a government press release.
"Almost three decades have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the connectivity between Europe and the Baltic states is still lacking," he said. "The German investors with whom I met also pointed this out as a bottleneck in investing."
This is why the construction of Rail Baltic is a priority for Estonia — as it will allow the Baltic states and Finland to be part of the well-connected European internal market, he added, highlighting reasons why the project is important for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Another significant issue highlighted by Ratas was the harmonisation of direct payments in agriculture. Estonia believes that this process should be accelerated in order to guarantee its farmers a level playing field on European markets.
Ratas and Scholz also discussed the reduction of support for the economic growth of the EU, strengthening the labour market, and supporting reforms from EU Cohesion Policy funds. Estonia is seeking a smoother transition in the process.
The two also agreed that a common and stable currency is the cornerstone of the European economy.
More could be done in digital
On the subject of bilateral Estonian-German relations, Ratas stated that cooperation between the two is close and friendly, but admitted that more could be done for developing and implementing digital solutions that improve people's well-being and simplify business activities.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ratas will atted an economic summit being organised by Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers, where he will be joined by Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in discussing the current state and future visions of European digital development in Estonia, Iceland and Serbia's example.
Editor: Aili Vahtla