Leaders of the European Union discussed climate and economic issues

10.12.2009 | 12:50

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Brussels, 10 December 2009 –The two-day meeting of the European Council began today in Brussels. At the meeting of EU heads of state and heads of government, Estonia is represented by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

One of the main topics at the session this evening will be the climate. According to the course of the climate negotiations underway, today’s discussions at the Council focused on whether the commitments of the European Union regarding the reduction of carbon dioxide by the year 2020 should be increased and to what extent the European Union will fund climate activities in the years 2010-2012.

The participants of the Council declared the readiness of the European Union to reduce emissions by 20 per cent, at the same time promising to move towards 30 per cent when the rest of the world takes on comparable commitments.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip expressed his satisfaction over the fact that the European Union has reached a consensus on such an important issue.

“The unity of the European Union is the key to the global climate policy,” Ansip said. “On the global level, no Member State of the European Union is very large; our strength is found in common positions and coordinated activity."

A significant part of the climate agreement is in the form of financial aid to developing countries, to involve them in activities that combat climate change. The contribution of every Member State to the funding of climate activities makes up the total contribution of the European Union for the next three years. Estonia is prepared to provide three million Euros in those years.

“We hope that if the European Union announces a specific number, this will inspire other partners to talk about specific sums during the climate negotiations as well,” Ansip said.

Another major topic today at the meeting of the European Council was the situation in the economy and finance of the European Union. The leaders of the European Union approved the financial supervision reform, which will create new institutions for preventing crises.

Today, the Council discussed the future of the Lisbon Strategy as well. The purpose of the process initiated in 2000 is to increase the competitiveness of the European Union by increasing knowledge and the employment rate.

It is in the interests of Estonia to continue with the strategy aimed at increasing competitiveness, and with the implementation of this, the European Commission will achieve a greater role both in legislative drafting and funding.

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