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Presidents of Estonia and Latvia: together, the Member States can decide on the future of the European Union

Presidents of Estonia and Latvia: together, the Member States can decide on the future of the European Union © Chancery of the President of Latvia


The Estonian and Latvian Heads of State, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Andris Bērziņš, who met in Riga, confirmed that all the Member States of the European Union, in determining the closeness of EU integration, can and have to take decisions regarding the future of the European Union.

"All Member States – both small and large, within the euro zone or otherwise – have not only the right but the obligation to join the discussion and put forward their ideas about the future of a strong, successful and credible European Union," said the Estonian Head of State, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. "A democratic Europe needs courage and a vision to emerge again from the current credibility crisis; it needs the trust and support of our people."

However, we must also consider those that are inert and timid in the debate regarding the future of the European Union may be left behind by those who are faster and more courageous, President Ilves emphasised.

According to the President, the election results in the Netherlands, where those in favour of Europe increased their popularity while populists were beaten, as well as the resolution adopted by the Constitutional Court of Germany in voting for the ESM show that Europe is ready and capable to make a resolute turn.

"We must merge solidarity and responsibility, consideration and a conservative approach, and supporting those who are weaker with adherence with the rules," told the Estonian Head of State.

He also mentioned Latvia as an example for a number of euro zone countries: "The responsible organisation of national financial and economic issues will apparently reward Latvia this year with the strongest economic growth in the European Union. Estonia strongly supports Latvia's joining of the euro area, once all the established criteria have been met."

"A strong and stable euro area will contribute to greater financial stability in the European Union as a whole and a stronger EU economy, while also allowing all the citizens of the European Union to feel more confident," told President Ilves.

The Estonian Head of State remained in Riga to participate in a high-level foreign and security policy conference.

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