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Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is on a working visit to Paris

16.06.2017

Paris, 16 June 2017 – At the meeting with the President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas emphasised the need to preserve the unity of the European Union and to focus on the values and aims that unite us, rather than the differences.

“Without France, the European Union would not be as we know it. Since the establishment of the European Union, France has been one of its leading countries, and I am happy that France perceives its full responsibility in our common Europe,” Ratas said. He added that he shared the President’s wish to rapidly move on with developing an efficient and strong Europe, which protected its citizens and offered them new opportunities.

“I sincerely acknowledge President Macron for bringing a strong and cooperation-oriented Europe into the centre of his campaign,” said Ratas. “For many people, the result of the recent presidential elections in France had the impact of being a turning point that brought new energy, hope and optimism to Europe. We understand that we have much more of that which unites the Member States than that which separates us.”

The Prime Minister introduced the priorities of the Estonian Presidency to the President of France, which are open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and the free flow of data, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

Ratas expressed the hope that Macron would be able to attend the summit dealing with digital issues in Tallinn at the end of September. “Europe must go along with the technological development that is thoroughly changing the lives of our people, companies and countries. Modern e-services and solutions influence our jobs, education, health care, and general welfare,” said Ratas.

The security of Europe, migration, social sector regulations, and climate and energy policies were also spoken about at the meeting. Additionally, Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine and the need to continue the sanctions were also discussed.

Ratas said that Estonia highly appreciates the participation of the French defence forces in the NATO battle group located in Estonia, and expressed hope that the presence of France would continue. Estonia and France cooperate closely in different international operations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in cyber defence issues.

Like France, Estonia supports deepening the defence cooperation of Europe, increasing its efficiency, and improving the cooperation between the European Union and NATO. Ratas also emphasised the need to defend the external borders of the European Union, and Estonia’s interest in the new cyber security strategy of the EU.

Today, Ratas also met with the representatives of MEDEF, the largest confederation of companies and entrepreneurs in France to promote bilateral economic cooperation. Ratas gave an overview of the situation of the Estonian economy, and our good investment and business climate.

Photos (Ave Tampere/ Government Communication Unit): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b17n22urutdciml/AADhptkhicy09s7mqG3-g0eoa?dl=0

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