- Reset + PDFPrint

Estonian Head of State to the President of France: our self-confidence and solidarity make the European Union strong

Estonian Head of State to the President of France: our self-confidence and solidarity make the European Union strong
President of France, François Hollande and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
© Presidency of the Republic


"Our own self-confidence, solidarity and compromises that take the interests of each and every Member State and the EU in general into consideration make the European Union strong," told the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who met today with the President of France, François Hollande.

"The solidarity and willingness to make compromises is exactly what we need when discussing the budget of the European Union for 2014-2020. This is the very budget that can and must be the foundation for wise economic growth and support overcoming the crisis in the European Union," emphasised the Estonian Head of State.

"Not a single country that is interested in the economic, political influence and success of its own country and simultaneously the European Union can afford itself glorious isolation in today's Europe, by standing alone and at a distance from Europe. We will all find strength in unity, not segregation," President Ilves told.

According to the President, the European Union can finally overcome the financial and economic crisis and this is also shown by confidence in the euro that is steadily being restored. However, structural reforms in the EU Member States need to be continued; we must contribute to contemporary educational systems, build upon and widen our internal market, and strengthen global trade relations.

"Europe is the project for our successful future, not just a tool for budget control in 2013. If we all only pull the blanket towards ourselves, we will only become entangled and will not reach a solution," President Ilves told. He admitted that we must find a balance between cutting the budget of the European Union, net payers and cohesion policy, as: "Frugality remains highly important; however, we must draw a line somewhere, as at a certain point saving becomes inefficient and will start to interfere with achieving our major goals."

Presidents Ilves and Hollande confirmed that the budget of the European Union must support the development of the European Union, investments and economic growth.

The Estonian Head of State described faster equalisation of common agricultural support as important, as the lower support available to the Baltic states has a visible impact on the competitiveness of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian farmers.

President Ilves also enhanced the importance of confirming both the legal and real unity of the European Union by creating new transport connections, one of them being the Rail Baltica express railway connection that starts from Helsinki and passes through the Baltic states to Western Europe: "The situation whereby Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which participate in the European Union internal market, still have infrastructural connections with Moscow and not Paris and Berlin, is not sustainable and will only serve to weaken our common market."

The Estonian and French Heads of State expressed their hope that the new budget of the European Union will be adopted at the beginning of this year.

According to President Ilves, Estonia highly appreciates the contribution made by France to Baltic air security and to releasing the Estonian bikers who were kidnapped in Lebanon in 2011.

"The co-operation between our countries in the sphere of defence will continue," assured President Ilves. Therefore, Estonia will support the European Union military training mission to Mali, by serving the main goal of improving the training of army controlled by the Mali government; France will also join the NATO Centre of Excellence for Co-operative Cyber Defence.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department
Phone +372 631 6229