Other available languages: none
Brussels, 3 April 2014
Statement by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso following his meeting with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas
Following a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas , the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, made the following statement:
"I was happy to welcome Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas to Brussels today, we had a very fruitful meeting. I congratulated him once again on his appointment.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary Estonia's membership in the European Union, I also congratulated the Prime Minister on the achievements of his country in the past years. Its strong growth record is impressive. I encouraged the Prime Minister to continue the economic and structural reforms that have proved so successful for Estonia. In particular, we discussed the urgent need to bring more people in the labour market and increase the efficiency of public services at local level. The European Commission will continue to firmly support Estonia’s determination for maintaining sound fiscal policies and a sound fiscal position.
We also exchanged views on a number of current European and international issues including the grave developments that have been taking place in Ukraine over the past several weeks. I expressed my appreciation for Estonia's constructive and supportive position in developing a common EU position with regard to Russia.
We agreed that investing smartly in Europe's future is essential to firm up the recovery. The EU budget remains a major source of public investments. I expressed my appreciation for the targeted way in which Estonia is using the structural funds and is preparing for the 2014-2020 period, focusing on growth and jobs.
Today's meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of progress on energy policy. I reiterated the Commission's support to Estonia in diversifying its energy supplies, in line with the Union's overall strategy of diversification. The Prime Mister and I agree on the importance of Estonia's full integration into the EU internal energy system and energy market. We welcomed the ongoing work regarding the Baltic LNG terminal and the gas pipeline "Balticconnector" between Estonia and Finland, which will make a major contribution to energy security of the entire Baltic region.
On this occasion, we also raised the issue of the Rail Baltic project. It will connect Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in a north-south direction. The European Commission supports all the efforts that would lead to an agreement between the participant countries before the first call for project financing in September. Finding a common approach is in the interest of all the partners, of the whole European Union. Interconnections across member States are not only important for the completion of the Single Market, they are also a matter of security."