TALLINN – The Estonian government on Thursday approved the proposals submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on expanding cooperation between Estonia and the Nordic countries and Baltic states.
The main objective in relations with the Nordic countries and Baltic states is a greater integration of the region in all policy areas and the expansion of economic and social ties. Estonia also considers it important to consistently uphold human rights, democracy and media freedom, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
"The Nordic countries and Baltic States are our closest neighbors and we have enjoyed a long successful cooperation. With this updated action plan, we will make improved efforts towards our crucial objectives. Close relations between the countries of the region will give us a more secure position for advancing shared interests and upholding our values," Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said.
She highlighted Estonia’s ambition of a closer cooperation in digital affairs and climate diplomacy in order to come up with solutions to environmental and climate problems together. "Estonia as an innovative digital state has a great opportunity here to lead by example and our climate targets are also ambitious. In our cooperation on advancing the green transition, we are prioritizing the digital integration of the region and energy cooperation, mainly by developing digital connections and renewable energy," the foreign minister said.
Liimets noted that cooperation on improving connections is also a key factor in the economic development of the region. "This concerns mainly the completion of energy and transport infrastructure as well as developing digital infrastructure and services," she said.
In addition to these areas, Estonia would like to enhance cooperation with the Nordic countries and Baltic states in security, defense, cyber affairs, internal security, justice, education, research and culture, and actions for developing the diaspora policy. Estonia’s objectives and actions in regional formats and international organizations are also covered.
The proposals were drawn up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with all ministries, the Bank of Estonia and the European Union Secretariat of the Government Office.