President Kersti Kaljulaid met with the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on Friday, to whom Estonia as a member of the EU, confirmed its solidarity and support for the Brexit negotiations.
"Ireland has to make difficult choices and sacrifices if the UK leaves without a treaty. The UK's recent proposals are the basis for further talks, but there is still work ahead of the forthcoming European Council. Unfortunately, we all need to be prepared as countries for the worst-case scenario and ensure that the rights of our citizens and the interests of businesses are protected," President Kaljulaid said during his meeting with the Irish Head of State.
The Heads of State also discussed issues related to the climate crisis and exchanged experiences on Ireland's candidacy for the UN Security Council from 2021–2022.
President Kersti Kaljulaid was in Greece on Friday at a meeting of the Arraiolos Group, composed of Heads of State not participating in the European Council.
In her speech, the Head of State said that the European Union has two strong pillars – the EIDAS Regulation facilitating the use of cross-border e-services and the General Data Protection Regulation – helping to build a strong, digitally connected European Union.
"We have a competitive advantage, but in order to be able to make full use of our advantage, it must be accompanied by permissive legislation," Kaljulaid said.
In the context of the migration crisis, the Kaljulaid noted that much more needs to be done to tackle the root causes. For example, Estonia is helping in Africa to promote eGovernment capacities in countries that have the potential to contribute to their development.
Kaljulaid also touched on climate change and explained that Estonia has joined the European Union agreement on climate neutrality by 2050. "Achieving the goals of climate neutrality can also be viewed as an economically positive project. For this we need a strong European Union, so we would have a supportive regulatory environment," she said.
Editor: Helen Wright