10 December 2010, Riga – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis opened today an Estonian-Latvian future cooperation conference where implementation of the proposals in the Wise Men’s Report was discussed and the two countries’ priority fields of cooperation for 2011 were determined.
The prime ministers for both countries stated that the discussion on cooperation between the two countries had been productive and showed that bilateral dialogue is actively taking place. Prime Minister Ansip also noted that the 66 proposals in the Wise Men’s Report were not still open to all relevant suggestions. Ansip added to the rapporteurs’ proposals by calling for the establishment of a joint digital market of Internet-based e-services between the two countries. “Estonia and Latvia could be the pilot countries for introducing a joint digital market, showing the way for other European Union member states in this area,” he said.
The jointly approved fields of cooperation for the next year were the following: people-to-people relations, including cooperation in the field of education and culture and between the countries’ public broadcasting organizations; planning business and cross -border infrastructure, including in the field of energy and transport; and closer integration of border regions, including cooperative activity in the tourism sector.
The prime ministers stressed that the government agencies of both countries have already started implementing more than ten specific joint projects in these priority fields. They also encouraged all related groups to intensify their bilateral contacts and adopt new joint initiatives. “More active cooperation will reinforce the future prospects of both countries and support new economic growth and a higher living standard,” said Prime Minister Ansip.
The prime ministers agreed that the status of implementation of the report would be reviewed at the end of 2011.
Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip agreed in 2009 upon the need to prepare a cooperation report for the two countries. The goal of the document was to evaluate the existing relations between the countries and to provide recommendations regarding developing cooperation in future. The rapporteurs – Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs political director Andris Razans and Baltic News Service director Anvar Samost – presented the cooperation report to the prime ministers on 11 June 2010.