TALLINN - At a meeting on Friday, Estonian President Alar Karis and European Commission Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Competition Margarethe Vestager discussed competitiveness in the EU internal market with the president highlighting that long-lasting competitiveness cannot be built on support measures and state aid.
"Smaller member states are in a less favorable position due to their limited resources but the objective has to be for everyone to have equal opportunities in the European Union's internal market," the head of state was quoted by spokespeople for the president's office as saying.
The president said that this applies to state aid, for example.
"Large member states can grant state aid in large volumes which small states cannot compete with," Karis said. "Even if we're able to grant state aid, entrepreneurs in small states feel that their opportunities are not as good as those of large businesses in states that can give more aid."
The head of state noted that it is important that similar opportunities be offered to everyone in the EU's internal market.
"No one should participate in a race for state aid; equal competitive conditions are needed for everybody," he said.
The topics discussed at the meeting also included ways to reduce the administrative burden of businesses and simplify the regulative environment. Karis noted that automated digital reporting should be used as much as possible in the European Union.
"When fulfilling reporting obligations, existing data must be reused and cross-used, based on the principle that if the data already exists, it will not be requested again," the president explained.
As vice president, Vestager is responsible for the strategic management and competition issues of European Union digital and internal market, industry, including defense industry and space policy.