Prime Minister Andrus Ansip gave a European Union themed speech before the Riigikogu

15.12.2009 | 16:32

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Tallinn, Stenbock House, 15 December 2009 – Today, in front of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip gave an overview of the government’s European Union policy.

When introducing his presentation, the Prime Minister recalled the ceremony held in Berlin about a month ago, where all of the leaders of the European Union were invited to celebrate the collapse of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.

Ansip said that without the collapse of the wall, Estonia would not have had the chance to join the European Union, either.

“The collapse of the Berlin Wall marks the beginning of great changes in Europe,” Ansip said. “New breathing and life was expected from these changes; the appearance of a more united and stronger Europe. 1. The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December, is another step towards the achievement of these goals.”

According to the Prime Minister, the Lisbon Treaty will make the European Union more efficient and operational, closer and more comprehensible to the citizens. With this, the citizens will be given a chance to initiate legislation as well.

He added that with the new host contract, another expectation of Estonia will be fulfilled – a common foreign service will be created, which will be aimed at harmonising the foreign policy of the European Union.

“Estonia has always supported the common foreign policy of the European Union and the speaking of the European Union in one voice in relations with partners outside the Union,” Ansip noted.

Another great expectation that the Prime Minister pointed out was the greater role of the European Commission.

“The role of the Commission as the balancer of the interests of all Member States and the protector of the common interests of Europe must be strong,” said the Prime Minister. “Only then can we achieve greater unity and consistency in the outer dimensions of our policies.”

According to Ansip, Estonia wishes that the Commission would take up a more vigorous role in the promotion of energy security, including the security of energy supply, and also as a spokesperson with third countries. He added that the Lisbon Treaty creates a good basis for that, giving the European Union direct competence in energy policy for the first time.

In his presentation, the Prime Minister declared that Estonia is not sitting idly by, but is attempting to provide Europe with exactly the face that we like.

It was in this way, according to Ansip, that the Baltic Interconnection Plan was born of the need for the establishment of energy links as a result of our explanatory work. Secondly, Estonian officials and politicians are making efforts so that our country could become the home country of the legal and internal issues IT agency to be created.

The Prime Minister again confirmed the wish of Estonia to join the Eurozone at the beginning of 2011. At that, Ansip stressed that accession to the Eurozone mainly depends on our own actions.

He also said that the Euro is a goal only until it becomes a means: “It is one of the impulses that will bring about the faster recovery of the economy, better jobs and growth of wellbeing.”

The Prime Minister discussed the topic of climate in more detail in his presentation. He said that although in the short run, climate policy may bring about higher expenses for us, we can see that by focusing on environment-friendly technologies and developing new ones, we will win in the longer run, both with regard to the economy and environmental policy.

“A climate-friendly policy is an investment in the future, which pays off in loads, even when the sceptics do not make that out in our business plan," said Ansip.

The Prime Minister was sure that at the Copenhagen negotiations, a political achievement can be reached, which will be a basis for later application agreements.

“I will go to Copenhagen feeling good – since the beginning of the negotiations, Estonia has been a supporter of a strong global agreement that is as inclusive as possible,” said Ansip.

To sum up, the head of the government thanked the Riigikogu for the fruitful cooperation in the processing of European Union related issues. He said that the government will continue conducting and applying a European Union policy that is aimed at making the European Union stronger in the following years as well.

Read the full presentation by the Prime Minister in the government’s Briefing Room.

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