President Dalia Grybauskaitė and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, currently on a working visit in Lithuania, discussed the situation in the eurozone, the preparedness for negotiating a new financial framework of the European Union, and the Nordic-Baltic cooperation. This is the first visit of the Estonian President after his reelection for the second term.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the EU financial framework 2014-2020 should ensure the distribution of the EU structural funds equally, without making any difference between old and new member states. The Presidents of both countries will seek that the distribution of assistance meets the strategic goals of Lithuania, Estonia and the region as a whole, and yields concrete benefits for the economies of our countries.
"Together with Estonia we will strive to achieve that our farmers receive the same payments as the farmers of the long-standing member states, the structural assistance reaches less developed EU regions, and due funding is ensured for power interconnections which are of key importance to the people of our countries," the President said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that in the face of the eurozone debt crisis the European Union had to take immediate measures to stabilize financial markets and to preclude the deepening of the crisis. Only stringent saving measures and immediate political solutions will allow achieving these goals, she said.
According to the President, Lithuania and Estonia, and the Nordic-Baltic region as a whole, can serve as an example for the EU countries of the responsible attitude towards the management of finances and economic policy.
"This year the economies of Lithuania and Estonia have grown most rapidly as compared to other EU countries, and the Nordic-Baltic region - one of the most rapidly developing regions in the European Union - becomes a dynamic driving force to advance economic growth, responsible fiscal policies, innovations, and progress," the President said.
The Nordic Baltic region aspires to be among the first to put a single information space and digital market in place for accelerating electronic settlements, information exchange and access to information.
In 2012, Lithuania will coordinate the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) cooperation. The President noted that the deepening of security cooperation was among next year's top priorities, including border control of the Nordic and Baltic countries, interaction in cyber and energy security, using to the full extent the possibilities offered by the Vilnius-based Energy Security Center.
Dalia Grybauskaitė invited the Estonian President to come to Lithuania for a state visit and attend the Nordic-Baltic summit to be held in Vilnius next year.