PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 8, 1999
Prime Minister Mart Laar met with Per Stenmarck, cochairman of EU-Estonian Parliamentary Committee.
The Prime Minister: Violation of the Baltic free trade agreement weakens Estonia`s position at EU membership negotiations.
Prime Minister Mart Laar met today with Per Stenmarck, cochairman of EU-Estonian Parliamentary Committee.
The Committee`s cochairman was satisfied with Estonia`s EU integration progress. Laar said that the Committee`s work has been fruitful and constructive, and he was pleased that the European Parliament`s role in the decision making processes of EU is growing.
Stenmarck was interested in the functioning of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian free trade agreement and told the Prime Minister about the European Parliament`s activities concerning the retention of the free trade agreement upon Estonia`s membership in EU.
The Prime Minister of Estonia said that such support is appreciated and he added that compliance with the free trade agreement by all three countries is very important for Estonia.
Laar said that Latvian government`s decision to extend import tariffs on pork for two years is a violation of the free trade agreement, and both the Prime Minister and cochairman agreed that this will make it more difficult to retain the agreement upon EU membership for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Laar said that he plans to raise the question in Helsinki on Saturday, when he meets with Andris Skele, the Prime Minister of Latvia.