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Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas expects the new budget of the European Union to support more connected Europe



At today’s meeting with European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas discussed the preparations for the next long-term budget of the European Union.

“The aim of the long-term budget of the European Union should be a stronger and more connected Europe. A better-functioning internal market would increase both the welfare of the people of Europe and the profits of companies. To achieve this goal, contributions to infrastructure projects connecting different areas of Europe, such as Rail Baltic and the synchronisation of the Baltic electricity system, are necessary,” Prime Minister Ratas emphasised.

According to the Prime Minister, Estonia also emphasises cohesion policy, harmonising the direct payment levels in the common agricultural policy, and the consistent consideration of digitalisation important in the new long-term budget of the European Union. “Estonia stands for more Europe, and a smaller budget would be counterproductive for this purpose. Therefore, the size of the next budget of the European Union should remain as large as the current one,” Ratas added.

The European Commission will submit a proposal for a multiannual budget framework of the European Union in May next year.

Additionally, Prime Minister Ratas and Budget Commissioner Oettinger discussed the results of the Tallinn Digital Summit and further action. “The leaders of the European Union have started taking digital development very seriously after the Tallinn Digital Summit. This emphasises the need to strategically invest in digital innovation in industries and services, in modern infrastructure, such as 5G networks and supercomputers, but also in people and in the capabilities of companies,” said Ratas.

According to the European Commission, 100 million Europeans have never used the Internet and 45% of the population and 37% of the workforce of the European Union have insufficient digital skills. 42% of the people with insufficient digital skills in the European Union are unemployed, while 40% of employers of the European Union have announced that they cannot find employees with required skills.

“Europe must be trailblazer in digital changes, but at the same time, we must make sure that people can keep up with these changes and adapt to them,” Ratas pointed out.