Prime Minister Ansip met with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

09.12.2009 | 12:49

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Tallinn, Stenbock House, 9 December 2009 – Today, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met at Stenbock House with Herman Van Rompuy, who is on a visit to Estonia and was elected as the President of the European Council at the last summit of the European Union.

Before the beginning of the meeting, Andrus Ansip and Herman Van Rompuy made brief declarations to the journalists who had gathered at Stenbock House

The Estonian Prime Minister congratulated Van Rompuy for receiving the office and wished him much success in achieving the forthcoming objectives.

“There are several important topics on the agenda of the European Union for which a strong coordinating president is needed – a person who is able to overcome possible contradictions and tie together loose ends – in order to reach good solutions,” said Ansip. He expressed conviction that Van Rompuy also represents, in every way, Estonia’s vision of the role of the President.

At the meeting held during lunch, several topics were discussed, which are of importance to Estonia as well as to the European Union as a whole – the economic situation and increasing of competitiveness, climate policy, energy security, etc.

During the conversation, Ansip emphasised Estonia’s wish to join the eurozone at the beginning of 2011 as one of the main priorities of Estonia’s European Union policy. He said that Estonia’s state budget for 2010 was prepared by the principle that it would meet the budget criterion requirement of the Maastricht Treaty. Estonia clearly complied with the inflation criterion in November.

“Estonia sees accession to the eurozone, strict budgetary policy and sustainable state finance as the prerequisites for the creation of an environment supporting the development of the economy,” said Ansip.

In speaking of the challenges facing the European Union, Ansip and Van Rompuy recognised the need to increase Europe’s competitiveness in the world. Ansip confirmed that Estonia supports the continuing of an ambitious strategy in that area.

“The priority areas for Estonia are research and development, innovation and education, as well as the development of the skills of employees. Estonia has increased investments in research and development, which means that those in total would reach two per cent of Estonia’s gross domestic product by 2011,” noted Ansip, when introducing Estonia’s positions.

In dwelling on the energy issue, Ansip and Van Rompuy shared the opinion that development of the energy supply is an important priority for the European Union as a whole. Prime Minister Ansip emphasised that it is necessary to establish additional energy connections and put in place an actually functioning common energy market in the European Union.

As the President of the European Council, Van Rompuy promised that in the future he would continue to attach importance to activities that facilitate the fight against climate change. Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that Estonia’s wish would be to enter into an efficient climate agreement at the ongoing UN climate conference in Copenhagen. He repeated the promise that Estonia would support less-developed states in their climate policy with one million euros a year within three years.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Herman Van Rompuy also expressed their pleasure at the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which, according to their words, will make the functioning of the European Union more efficient.
Photos of the meeting http://www.valitsus.ee/redirect/223

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