Ratas: EU has managed to maintain unity, will do so in future as well ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas addressing the Riigikogu.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas addressing the Riigikogu. Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu

While the past few years have offered very many serious challenges to the EU, as a result of joint efforts the union has managed to find common ground on even the most difficult topics as well and maintain its unity, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said in a speech to the Riigikogu on Tuesday on the implementation of EU policy.

In recent years, the aftermath of the economic and debt crisis, acts of aggression, the migration crisis and the UK's decision to leave the EU have put Europe to the test, Ratas said according to government spokespeople.

"On the back of joint efforts, we have managed to find common ground on even the most difficult of topics, achieve concrete results for creating economic growth as well as controlling migration, and maintain the unity of the EU," he continued, emphasising that further cooperation and unity is needed.

In recent years, the aftermath of the economic and debt crisis, acts of aggression, the migration crisis and the UK's decision to leave the EU have put Europe to the test, Ratas said according to government spokespeople.

"On the back of joint efforts, we have managed to find common ground on even the most difficult of topics, achieve concrete results for creating economic growth as well as controlling migration, and maintain the unity of the EU," he continued, emphasising that further cooperation and unity is needed.The prime minister described as encouraging the EU's steps in supporting defence cooperation in operations capability, joint projects, cooperation in research, military mobility, hybrid threats, strategic communication as well as other fields.

"Increasingly broad cooperation between the EU and NATO will help create synergy between allies and increase society's resilience," he said, likewise stressing the concept of comprehensive security and the importance of halting misinformation in defending European values and citizens.

Internal market benefits everyone

According to Ratas, a stronger EU internal market is in Estonia's interests and creates new opportunities for all European businesses to compete on equal footing worldwide. Three quarters of Estonian companies' exports go to Europe, and more than one in five jobs in Estonia is linked with European trade policy, he added.

It is, however, the EU digital internal market that has the most Estonian fingerprints on it. This activity impacts the lives and comfort of companies and citizens on the most basic of levels, Ratas said, and the drop in communication expenses and roaming prices has been the fastest and most tangible change seen as a result of this.

"Most of the submitted initiatives, of which there are 29, will hopefully be formalised by spring, and generally speaking we can also say that the market has been brought into the digital age, at least in the legal sense," he noted.

The prime minister also spoke about linking Estonia with the rest of Europe, naming in particular the integration of the gas and electricity markets and establishment of transport interconnections, including the future Rail Baltica, which will help deepen relations on the state level and economic relations with Europe as well as contacts between the people of Finland, the Baltics and Poland.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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