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Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs : Estonia at the European Union General Affairs Council: Quick and Firm Agreement Needed to Ensure That Europe Will Invest in Economic Growth and Employment

09/24/2012 | 10:51am US/Eastern

No 335-E

During the discussion on the European Union's next budgetary period (2014-2020) that took place in Brussels today, ideas were exchanged regarding the most recent version of the negotiations packet submitted by EU presidency Cyprus, which does not yet contain concrete numbers.

For Estonia it is essential that an agreement on the budget is reached quickly. "After three years of talking almost exclusively about the crisis and other negative things, citizens are awaiting a message from Brussels guaranteeing that Europe will make investments into economic growth and employment," said Ambassador to the EU Matti Maasikas, who represented Estonia at the meeting. "Therefore Estonia does not think it is right to cut the EU budget, especially at the expense of the European Union Cohesion Policy, which is meant to support regions with lower income levels," he stated.

Estonia made a proposal together with Latvia and Lithuania that the countries that suffered the most during the economic crisis should get a higher upper limit on the amount of Cohesion Funds they can utilise. "It is justified to allow countries whose GDP has fallen sharply but have still used EU funds responsibly and found money to co-finance an opportunity to utilise more Cohesion Policy funds," Maasikas asserted. 

Estonia is continuing to work towards equalising direct agricultural supports in the European Union. "Support for Baltic farmers is much less than the European average, and we would like for changes to this situation, which leads to unfair competitive advantages and makes people justifiably upset, to be reflected in the new European Union budget," said the ambassador.

Estonia also supports the European Commission's proposal to create a European Infrastructure Fund for supporting cross-border infrastructure projects.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia's Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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