TALLINN - The Economic Affairs Ministry said that the poll that placed Estonia 13th among the EU's most innovative countries, or among the "laggards," was not objective.
"Despite the rather high 13th position, Estonia has been classed as a laggard. The reason for this is the too low average growth rate of the indicators used in drawing up the list compared with other countries," a spokesman for the ministry reported.
"Although in terms of certain indicators the growth rate is worrying indeed, in the ministry's opinion the European Commission's assessment is not fully objective and has been partly caused by a statistical anomaly," the ministry said.
In drawing up the report the European Commission used data of 2003 as the most recent; as a result, the figures do not fully reflect the results of investments recently made.
"By and large, however, we have to agree with the conclusion from the list that although a low level of scientific and innovation investments both in the public and the private sectors are a problem in Estonia, then application of knowledge for the development of new products and services is a considerably bigger challenge," the ministry admitted.
At the same time the ministry said the 13th position was rather high, as Estonia placed higher than any other new member country as well as Italy, Spain and Portugal.