During his meeting in Tallinn today with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that creating a Baltic Sea internal market would be in the interest of closer co-operation among the European Union nations located along the shores of the Baltic Sea. “So that our ships, when going from one European Union port to another, would not have to be outside of the EU customs area in the meantime. It would greatly simplify procedures and decrease bureaucracy,” he added.
Paet stated that the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region created a good framework that now needs to be filled with substance by the Baltic Sea nations. “The Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region allows the Baltic Sea region to be a laboratory for testing the functioning of a European Union internal market,” he stated.
Estonia also made a proposal to Finland to conclude a legal assistance agreement between the two countries. Paet said that the agreement would significantly simplify the management of everyday affairs for Estonian and Finnish citizens in both Estonia and Finland, considering the large number of Estonian citizens living in Finland and Finns living in Estonia.
The Estonian and Finnish foreign ministers also addressed strengthening co-operation between the Nordic and Baltic countries. “For example, in areas such as consular aid, defence co-operation, sea monitoring, and development co-operation there is already a good basis for even closer co-operation,” said Paet.
Paet also thanked Stubb for Finland’s support for Estonia joining the euro zone.
Energy co-operation was also addressed. Paet said that Estonia has fulfilled all the requirements for establishing the new Estonia-Finland electricity connection Estlink 2. “In order for Estlink 2 to be completed, this region must have a well-functioning electricity market, since in 2013 Estonia will be opening up its electricity market 100%. Uniform rules must be imposed regarding the import of electricity from third countries,” said Paet.
A photo from the meeting can be found on the Foreign Ministry’s Flickr page:
SPOKESPERSON' S OFFICE
Paet Made Proposal to Finnish Colleague to Create Baltic Sea Internal Market