Press release from the Government of the Republic of Estonia
Brussels, 5 February 2020 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met yesterday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the European Green Pledge, the digital development of the Community, and the future long-term budget.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, implementation of the European Green Pledge will present a challenge, while also offering many opportunities. ‘The Green Pledge provides an excellent basis for working towards the goal of climate neutrality, which the European Union has set for 2050, and a green transformation cannot take place without a digital transformation. For example, we need to adopt environmentally friendly IT solutions and make better use of environmental data,’ Ratas stated.
The EU’s next long-term budget for 2021-2027 must, according to the Prime Minister, support Member States in meeting climate goals. ‘Estonia also wants the Just Transition Fund to treat oil shale and coal mining in the same way, to ensure that the people working in the energy sector in Ida-Viru County are also taken into consideration,’ the Prime Minister said.
Ratas also met yesterday with European Commission Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Frans Timmermans, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, and Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
While discussing the European single market and digital development, Prime Minister Ratas stressed the need to simplify business management to make it easier for businesses to operate in the internal market. ‘To make cross-border administration easier for businesses and people, we need a European digital identity,’ Ratas said. Using a digital signature saves Estonia five working days each year.
At his meeting with Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, the synchronisation of Baltic power systems with Europe and Estonia’s interest in developing offshore wind farms within the framework of regional cooperation were also discussed. ‘The transition to climate-friendly energy production and energy independence is certainly one of the biggest challenges of the coming years. Europe’s continued support is certainly very important for the completion of these projects’, Ratas said.
At his meeting with the Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, they discussed the taxation of the digital economy, the review of energy taxation and the proposal for a carbon border measure within the framework of the implementation of the European Green Pledge.
Date of publication: 5 Feb 2020
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