Tallinn, Riigikogu, 14 December 2010 – In the presentation given today on the government’s EU policy, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told the MPs that the transition to the euro was the current government’s most important achievement in the area.
According to Ansip, Estonia’s accession to the euro area is the result of the common effort of our people. Ansip added that the adoption of the euro would create new jobs, raise pensions and enhance economic growth.
“The accession to the euro area will bring stability and end incompetent, if not malicious, speculations of the devaluation of the Estonian kroon,” Ansip said.
The Prime Minister also refuted another misconception, emphasising that the association of the euro with the price increase is erroneous.
“Price increases and decreases are powered by the market, rather than the transition to the euro,” Ansip asserted. “Any kind of inappropriate pricing in connection with the transition to the euro is malicious and unacceptable. Price increase in general has nothing to do with the transition to the euro. Neither is any price decrease the result of the euro.”
The Prime Minister also expressed his content with the achievement of other objectives established by the government in 2007. The current Riigikogu has seen Estonia’s accession to the Schengen visa-free area. At the beginning of December, the ministers of the interior of the European Union decided on the establishment of the headquarters of the IT agency in Estonia.
“This is an important step, strengthening Estonia’s IT capacity and allowing the rest of Europe to gain from our knowledge in the area,” Ansip said. “The agency did not simply fall into our hands overnight; it is the result of several years of relentless pursuits.”
Prime Minister Ansip also laid great emphasis on the climate and energy-political agreements achieved in 2009 and 2008. According to Ansip, the establishment of a common EU energy market is crucial for Estonia’s energy security and supply reliability. After the construction of the power bridge between Estonia and Finland, Estonia is no longer an island in the European Union, energy-wise: “The common energy market with the Nordic countries, soon to be joined by Latvia and Lithuania, will, in the longer perspective, create a favourable market for the consumers, and provide for an affordable price of electricity.”
According to Ansip, Estonia is not merely a receiver in the European Union but also strives to contribute to the development of the Union. The resolution of the European Council, adopted in Estonia’s initiative, on the creation of a common digital market by 2015, attests to Estonia’s success in its pursuits.
As regards new challenges in the European Union, Prime Minister Ansip made mention of the preparation of the new budget, enlargement of the internal market to include eastern partners, the establishment of the pan-European energy infrastructure by 2020 and the implementation of the revised rules for the euro area.
The new government must also take sustainable steps to launch the preparation for Estonia’s presidency in the European Union in 2018.