“Beginning in July, the Estonian Presidency will be looking for solutions to the migration and refugee crisis and to the issues of energy and climate and it also coincides with the start of Brexit talks,” Ratas noted. “Here, the most important for Estonia is to maintain the unity and decisiveness of the European Union, which is also important for the Kingdom of Norway and all other EU partners.”
Ratas introduced to Solberg the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and emphasised the interest of Estonia in developing a digital Europe and promoting the free movement of data. “The free movement of data should be a natural part of the European Single Market and the fifth fundamental right in the European Union,” he added.
Ratas said that Estonia is interested in strengthening the cyber security and IT related cooperation with Norway and starting negotiations on the mutual recognition of e-residency and digital signature. Today, the Prime Minister of Estonia ceremonially handed e-residency over to Solberg.
The meeting also focused on the bilateral relations between Estonia and Norway. Ratas gave recognition to the active involvement of Norway in ensuring the security of our region.
“The contribution of Norway to our security through the Air Policing Mission of the Baltic States and NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn is undoubtedly important. Norway is a valued ally of Estonia both in NATO and the Nordic region; we have similar viewpoints and good and intertwined relations,” the Prime Minister of Estonia said.
The meeting also covered the topics of the EU’s Eastern Partnership and relations with Russia. Ratas noted that Estonia is interested in a long-term cooperation with Norway in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, and especially in Ukraine. The aim of the Eastern Partnership is to strengthen the cooperation and integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus with the EU.