Stenbock House, 14 June 2019 – at today’s meeting Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland, discussed cooperation between the two countries, important projects in the Baltic Sea region, and the Finnish Presidency in the Council of the European Union, which will begin in July.
“We saw once again that Estonia and Finland are very close. I am glad that we agree with Finland on all the major issues, because global challenges, such as the climate change and sustaining economic growth, can only be faced if we stand together. Cooperation is increasingly important in this ever-changing world. In order for us to continue moving forward in a neighbourly manner, the Nordic countries and the Baltic states must keep on walking to the same rhythm in international issues where we share similar views, because our voices are stronger when we are together,” Ratas said.
Prime Minister Ratas also stressed the importance of digital cooperation. “Our bilateral cooperation is increasingly more active, but we could also accomplish a more advanced data exchange. Estonia and Finland already exchange digital prescriptions, but tax data, business registers, and population registers still offer endless opportunities. The Nordic countries and the Baltic states could very well become a most digitally connected region in the world.”
Ratas and Rinne also discussed the possibility of Finland joining the Rail Baltica project and establishing the Estonian, Latvian, and Finnish joint gas market. They also discussed the prospects of the Tallinn–Helsinki tunnel. Furthermore, the prime ministers discussed the environmental situation of the Baltic Sea, which is one of the priorities for the new government of Finland.
In July, the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union will begin. Finland has decided to prioritise the development of the internal market, climate change and rule-based world-order, which are also important for Estonia. The internal market and inclusive economic growth are also an important part of the new strategic action plan of the European Union.
This visit to Estonia was the first foreign visit for Antti Rinne during his term as the prime minister of Finland.