Baltic finance ministers emphasize necessity to continue structural reforms

  • 2013-03-29

Andris Vilks (left), Rimantas Sadzius (center) and Jurgen Ligi. Photo: Lithuanian Foreign Ministry

VILNIUS - Over the past few years, the Baltic States have managed to reduce budget deficits, restore markets' trust, carry out labor market and social security reforms, however, it is necessary to continue implementing structural reforms to reduce unemployment, especially among young people, the Baltic finance ministers concluded during a meeting in Vilnius on March 28.

Structural reforms are needed to ensure sustainable growth and improve the Baltic business environment, facilitating innovations and attracting foreign investments. It was also noted that fiscal discipline is a key precondition to ensure sustainable state funds in the long term, LETA learned from the Finance Ministry.

The Baltic GDP growth is the steepest in the EU. However, the economic situation in Europe is complicated and it is important to act constructively to ensure stability and growth in the eurozone and the rest of the EU, the ministers noted.

Latvian Finance Minister Andris Vilks, Estonian Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi and Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius discussed the introduction of euro, concluding that it is important in ensuring the region's macroeconomic stability and attracting foreign direct investments. The officials believe that eurozone and eurozone member reforms have strengthened the eurozone's stability. Despite certain countries experiencing financial instability, there are no doubts regarding the euro and the eurozone's stability in the long run.

Estonia introduced the euro in 2011. Latvia is planning to join the eurozone in 2014, Lithuania - in 2015. The Estonian finance minister shared Estonia's experience in the eurozone. Strong support was expressed for Latvian and Lithuanian decisions of joining the eurozone.

The Lithuanian finance minister informed about Lithuania's priorities during the country's presidency of the Council of the European Union, emphasizing that the presidency's goals - financial stability, new jobs, competitiveness and energy security will benefit the entire EU. The ministers also discussed the bloc's multi-annual budget for 2014-2020. According to the officials, the Baltic States must cooperate to achieve their joint goals in the bloc's next planning period.