Estonia expects fair new budget for European Union

01.12.2005 | 12:57

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Stenbock House, Tallinn, 2005 — The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Baltic States meeting in Tallinn today discussed the main topics concerning the European Union draft budget for the next period. The bases for drafting the budget, presented by the presidency today, do not satisfy Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair introduced his Baltic colleagues to the proposals of the European Union presidency for reaching a compromise on the next financial perspective of the Union.

According to Tony Blair, at the moment, it is possible to choose between two courses of development — the more radical solution is to reform thoroughly the common agricultural policy of the European Union and the rebate system of the UK. If the goal is a quick compromise, radical changes cannot be made. Part of the solution can involve, among other things, budget cuts reducing the structural and cohesion funds aimed at the new member states.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip reiterated the earlier position that new member states were interested in the quick adoption of the budget. “A quick approval of the new financial perspective will leave Estonia enough time to prepare for European projects. However, we cannot blindly accept any agreement submitted. We will reach a compromise when it is fair. All the European Union members states must be satisfied with the results,” said Ansip.

According to the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, their countries cannot fully agree to the proposed principle that would reduce the funds to be allocated to the new member states.

“On the basis of the principle of solidarity of the European Union, the states are striving for the equalisation of the standard of living. Considering the rapid economic growth of Estonia and the other Baltic States, at some point, we will also contribute more to the Union budget than we receive in return. Until such time, we expect greater solidarity and understanding from the present net contributors to the European Union,” said Andrus Ansip.

The next draft budget for the European Union will be presented to the member states for discussion and formation of positions at the beginning of the next week. The financial perspective will be a major subject at the European Union summit to be held in Brussels on 15–16 December.

You can hear the recording of the press conference held with the Prime Ministers of the UK and the Baltic States on 1.12.2005 on the web page of the Government Communication Office at: ;

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