Prime minister, incoming European Commission president, talk priorities ({{commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) spoke to incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday. The two talked cooperation and the incoming commission's political priorities, Baltic News Service reports.

Speaking on the phone, the two leaders also discussed climate issues, sustainable economic growth, digitalization, security and large-scale energy and transport infrastructure projects. Ratas also extended an invite to von der Leyen to visit Estonia, according to government spokespersons.

Ratas said the topics discussed were of mutual interest both for the EU and rest of the world, as well as Estonia.

"The European Commission plays an important role as a champion of many topics which directly affect the day-to-day lives of all our people both now as well as in the decades to come," Ratas said, according to BNS.

"[This is] regardless of whether it's supporting small and medium-sized businesses, implementation of the social rights pillar, strengthening democratic processes or protecting the European way of life," he continued.

Ratas also highlighted von der Leyen's desire to ensure the EU economy's meeting of the requirements of the digital age as well as the strengthening of cyber security. 

"I very much support the desire of the future president of the commission to focus in greater depth on climate and environment policy. The sitting Estonian government has also set these topics as its political priority, and dealt with topics regarding climate and the environment more than any previous Estonian government has done during its first one hundred days in office. As Ursula von der Leyen also said, we must act in this field together as Europeans," Ratas continued.

The two leaders also discussed Estonia's next European Commissioner candidate (Kadri Simson of the Centre Party).

Another important topic examined was energy and transport infrastructure in the Baltic countries.

"I believe that both the establishment of Rail Baltica and synchronizing the electricity networks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the networks of continental Europe by 2025, will also continue to be very important for the next composition of the European Commission," Ratas said, describing the continuation of financing the projects in the EU's next financial plan for 2021-2027 as important.

"The synchronization of the Baltic electricity network with that of continental Europe is one of the key projects for the energy union. It is also important from the viewpoint of the energy security of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as of Europe as a whole," Ratas said.

"The establishment of Rail Baltica is the infrastructure project of the century for us, which enables us to become truly a part of the European single market. It is important for our better economic and political integration with Europe, and also for the security of our region," the prime minister said.

"The establishment of Rail Baltica is the infrastructure project of the century for us, which enables us to become truly a part of the European single market. It is important for our better economic and political integration with Europe, and also for the security of our region," the prime minister said.

U.K. withdrawal from the EU was also discussed.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte



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