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President Ilves and Chancellor Merkel: we need a successful European Union


The future of the European Union was the main issue discussed at the meeting of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

"I agree [with the Chancellor of Germany]; we do not need the 'More Europe' call, rather a successful European Union," said the Estonian Head of State; according to the President, Germany holds a leading role in many issues of crucial importance for both Estonia and the EU in general.

The impact of Brexit, the future of the European Union, including the efficient protection of its external borders, migration partnership, combatting terrorism, digital internal market, containment of hostility within the immediate environs of the EU – these are the challenges that require common leadership, emphasised the Estonian Head of State.

"In times when we are weighed down with crises, we have a greater need for a perspective that sets aside narrow internal interests and has the courage to make prompt decisions for the common good."

"Europe will need an engine that can drive our train forward, as it has become somewhat sluggish. Responsibility, steadfast principles and the skill to listen to and understand its allies, as demonstrated by Germany here today, can be this engine," said President Ilves.

"The economic development of our continent, the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and the birth of new enterprises will become one of the key questions for the future of Europe. Protectionism, particularly in the IT sphere, may become fatal for the EU," said the Estonian Head of State.

In focusing on the consequences of the UK exit from the EU, both parties admitted that this will involve more responsibility for the Member States of our region – we need to become more vocal and confident in protecting our goals at the EU round table and stand up for spheres that are important for us.

When speaking about the situation in Ukraine and Russian aggression, both heads of state admitted that the situation shows no improvement – in fact, the tensions are again increasing and the readiness of the European Union to respond in unison and demonstrate the required deterrence is still required.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department