Ratas meeting Baltic prime ministers in Vilnius, to continue on to Vienna

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) is travelling to Vilnius on Monday to meet with his Lithuanian and Latvian colleagues. The meeting marks the end of Lithuania's presidency of the Prime Ministers' Council, the highest-ranking format under the Baltic Council of Ministers.

The meeting will discuss security and the situation in Ukraine, the Government Office said in a press release on Monday morning, along with the common priorities of the Baltic states regarding the European Union's 2021-2027 long-term budget.

The three countries' priorities are better connections, a strong cohesion policy, more equitable direct aid for farmers, the further strengthening of security, an efficient approach to guarding the external border of the EU and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Also on the agenda are the development and funding of the Rail Baltica project as well as the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian coordinated approach in the question whether or not to abolish daylight saving time (DST).

Lithuania is handing the presidency of the meeting format over to Latvia, which will introduce its own priorities for next year's presidency.

The Prime Ministers' Council has the three heads of government meet on a regular basis to discuss and direct trilateral cooperation. It is the highest-ranking meeting in the Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) format, an arrangement of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that has been in place since 1994.

Prime minister to attend Africa-Europe forum in Vienna

From Vilnius Ratas will travel on to Vienna, where he will participate in the high-level Africa-Europe forum set for this week. The forum was called by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who in 2018 is the chairman of the African Union as well.

The forum intends to provide a space for European and African leaders along with CEOs of global companies, innovation champions and other stakeholders "to reflect and act on what needs to be done to secure prosperity and competitiveness on both continents" as well as to deepen their relationship, the Government Office wrote in its Monday press release.

Ratas is expected to get back to Tallinn on Tuesday afternoon.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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