Stenbock House, 12 August 2019 – today, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Ursula von der Leyen, the future President of the European Commission, discussed cooperation and the future political priorities of the Commission over the phone. They also focused on climate issues and extensive projects in the field of energy and transport infrastructure. Prime Minister Ratas invited von der Leyen to visit Estonia.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the topics highlighted by Ursula von der Leyen, such as a sustainable economic growth, fighting climate change, digitalisation, security, and standing for common global interests, are topical and important for Estonia, as well. “The European Commission has an important role as an advocate for many issues that have a direct impact on our everyday lives today and for decades to come – regardless of whether the subject is supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, deploying the pillar of social rights, strengthening democratic processes, or defending the European way of living,” the prime minister said. Ratas also emphasised the aim of the new President of the European Commission to establish an economy that is suitable for the digital era of the European Union and increase cybersecurity for us all.
“I strongly support the aim of the future President of the Commission to focus more on climate and environmental policies. The current Estonian government has also set these issues as our political priority and has been involved in climate and environmental issues more than any other government during their first hundred days. As Ursula von der Leyen said, we must show the true European spirit and act in unison on this subject,” Ratas said.
Ratas and von der Leyen also talked of the Estonian candidate for the European Commissioner’s position.
Another topic of discussion was energy and transport infrastructure projects, important issues for the Baltic States. “I believe that establishing Rail Baltica and synchronising the electricity grid of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with the continental European system by 2025 continue to be significant for the next membership of the European Commission,” Prime Minister Ratas said, stressing that it is important for the European Union to keep financing the projects from the EU’s next long-term budget for 2021-2027.
“Synchronising the electricity grid of the Baltic states with the continental European system is a key project for building the energy union. It is also important for the energy security of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and all of Europe,” Ratas noted. “Establishing Rail Baltica is the transport project of the century for us and will enable us to become a true part of the European internal market. It is integral for our advanced economic and political integration with Europe and the security of our region,” the prime minister said.
Another subject discussed over the phone was the United Kingdom exiting the European Union.