Prime Minister Ratas to Merkel: A safe and successful Europe is our common interest

Jun 16
Created: 16 June 2017

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said at the meeting with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel that a safe and successful Europe is in the interest of both countries, and this can be strengthened by a unified, strong and economically successful European Union.

“We are grateful for Germany’s contribution to the security of the Baltic region both within the European Union and NATO. I am glad that Germany has committed to achieving the objective to spend 2% of GDP on defence. Germany is definitely one of the most important allies but also one of the most crucial trading partners to Estonia,” Prime Minister Ratas said.

The topics of the meeting between Ratas and Merkel focused on migration issues, security, the regulation of internal market and social affairs and the climate and energy policy in the light of the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Prime Minister also introduced the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the Chancellor.

“During the Estonian Presidency, we want to maintain the competency and unity of the European Union and achieve tangible results for all Europeans,” Ratas noted. “To ensure that the European Union would advance in a united manner, we need to find a balance between the different interests that have emerged with regard to several complex issues.”

When speaking about the migration crisis, Ratas emphasised that it is important to strengthen the protection of the external borders of the European Union and maintain control to tackle this issue. “It is neither possible nor necessary to lock Europe up, however, both physical and digital capabilities supporting border security should become stronger,” he said. “We need to use modern technological solutions and improve the exchange of information between the countries, and it is equally important to enhance the implementation of common decisions.” The Prime Minister also recognised Germany’s great efforts in tackling the migration crisis.

The Prime Minister said that as for the energy policy, Estonia supports a more integrated and stronger Europe. “The European Union needs to continue with developing a single energy market, improving the energy security and establishing cross-border energy links. This work should result in an energy system that is accessible, affordable, sustainable and secure for the European companies and citizens. It is perfectly clear that the European Union does not withdraw from the current Paris Agreement and the Estonian Presidency will continue implementing this,” the Prime Minister explained.

The meeting also focused on the situation in Ukraine, relations with Russia and the Eastern Partnership of the European Union. Ratas said that it is in the interests of the European Union to strengthen stability, welfare and security in the immediate neighbourhood of the European Union by supporting the efforts of the Eastern partners with Europe and their structural reforms. “By helping the Eastern partners we also directly contribute to the security and stability of Europe,” Ratas said.

At the meeting, Ratas and Merkel recognised the Erasmus programme, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, as it serves as an excellent example of outstanding cooperation at the European level, widening the horizons of young people and providing new knowledge.