Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said on Friday that he regrets the outcome of European Union accession talks which saw Albania and North Macedonia's path to membership stalled once again.
Reinsalu met with Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and the incoming Commissioner for Energy, discussing the future of the European Union enlargement policy and the next multiannual financial framework (MFF).
The foreign minister expressed regret that the European Commission's proposal to start accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania was not approved by the European Council.
"Enlargement is one of the key policies of the European Union, and in light of this lack of decision, we hope the new Commission will continue to strongly support the EU enlargement policy," he said.
On Friday the two Balkan countries were denied the chance to start membership talks after France, Denmark, and the Netherlands used their veto powers.
Speaking on ETV's Aktuaalne kaamera on Thursday evening, after the first round of talks in Brussels, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said he supported the enlargement of the European Union.
On Friday Reinsalu also discussed the next multiannual financial framework, and said the proposal by the current presidency was too modest in its ambitions.
He stressed that in order to preserve Estonia's competitiveness in the context of climate neutrality, instruments must be found in the European Union budget to support Estonia's transition.
Furthermore, keeping in mind Estonia's specificity, a transitional exemption should be introduced for both oil shale and coal.
Editor: Helen Wright