Estonian PM on future of EU: Security and economy are paramount

  • 2019-05-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Discussing the future of Europe with EU heads of state and heads of government on Thursday, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas emphasized the need to make Europe more resilient to crises, improve the economic possibilities of people  and businesses and engage in creating a more environment-friendly living environment.

Talking about European security, Ratas emphasized that problems have to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.

"The challenges facing us include, among other things, campaigns of disseminating false information, cyber threats, money laundering, and also risks related to energy security and economic security. The dangers related to technology and vital infrastructure must be reduced to a minimum," the prime minister said according to spokespeople for the government.

When it comes to European defense cooperation, Ratas highlighted the importance of a strong transatlantic bond and cooperation with  NATO.

Talking about the wellbeing of Europe, Ratas described an efficient and continuously developing single market as important.

"It must be easy and convenient for our entrepreneurs to be active on the European market. The energy market and the transport system are the main things influencing economic growth. I wish for the future strategic action plan to focus on functioning and integrated interconnections between states," the Estonian head of government said.

"We must pay greater attention to developing services and the data economy because these are the fields with the biggest potential for growth. Therefore we also need to develop free movement of data," Ratas said.

According to Ratas, also the things that happen in our neighborhood directly affect the economy and security of Europe.

"Therefore, we must support the Eastern Partners and strengthen cooperation with them," he said.

The prime minister also noted that in the following years, we need to move forward with the enlargement of the euro area and  Schengen, when the relevant states have fulfilled the necessary criteria.

Talking about the environment and matters of climate change, Ratas highlighted the need to act prudently and thereby support the economy, innovation and development of the society.

"This may also have a positive effect on our security, energy independence and trade balance," Ratas said.

The EU heads of state and heads of government adopted a joint declaration at their meeting held in the Romanian town of Sibiu, in which they affirm their commitment to act together in the name of the future of Europe.