Tallinn, Stenbock House, November 24, 2004 Prime Minister Juhan Parts met today with the president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler who is on an official visit to Estonia.
The meeting focused on the issues of increasing the competitiveness of the European Union, relations between the European Union and Russia, and the situation in Ukraine.
Discussing the need to increase the competitiveness of Europe, both Prime Minister Parts and President Köhler found that practical implementation of the Lisbon agenda must be one of the key priorities for the European Union. "If we look at the rapid growth of Asian countries, and the current gap between the US economy and Europe, it is clear that it is high time to do something if we wish to remain globally competitive," said Köhler. In the opinion of Prime Minister Juhan Parts, the successful development of
Europe requires a new social model that would work in the globalizing world of the 21st century.
Concerning the situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Parts expressed his grave concerns regarding the presidential elections that took place in Ukraine. "I think that the European Union should persuade the Ukrainian authorities to examine the election procedure and results and emphasise the need for free and democratic elections. Europe must do everything possible to promote democratic practices and to help to reduce the tensions that have built up," noted the Prime Minister. President Köhler shared this concern and added that Europe should assume a greater responsibility for what is happening in Ukraine with the objective of protecting democratic values.
Discussing relations with Russia and the European Union, President Köhler and Prime Minister Parts agreed that the European Union should have a common foreign policy towards Russia. "Russia must understand that the signing of, for example, border agreements with Estonia and Latvia is not only an issue of bilateral relations, but an issue that concerns the European Union as a whole," said Köhler.
In addition, there was discussion of bilateral relations and wider developments in the Baltic Sea region.
Press Officer to the Government
Tel: 693 5792, 51 65808