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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: We Must Make a Common Effort to Agree on the New Financial Framework of the European Union by the End of the Year

31.08.2012

No 304-E

Discussing the EU’s next financial framework (MFF - multiannual financial framework) for the period 2014-2020 at the meeting of European Union’s foreign and EU affairs ministers in Cyprus today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the financial framework must contribute to ensuring growth, increasing competitiveness and creating jobs. “We also hope there will be an agreement on the budget before the end of the year,” Paet said.

The Foreign Minister also emphasised that Estonia strives for a quicker unification of the agricultural subsidies of the European Union. According to Paet, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are making common efforts to achieve a quicker unification of direct aid in the common agricultural policy of the European Union. “As of now, the agricultural subsidies given to different states vary a great deal and there is no justification for a situation where, for example, the subsidies given to the Baltic States are significantly below the EU average,” he said. Therefore, Estonia considers it essential to unify subsidies. “That would ensure more equal competition conditions on the common market to all member states and would help economic growth,” Paet noted.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, Estonia also thinks that the negotiations on the next financial framework should not limit the structural devices to 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product for states whose GDP growth in 2008-2010 was below the European Union average. Paet added that in terms of the eligibility of the value added tax, Estonia supports continuing with the system of the previous period, when value-added tax was an eligible expense for the public sector, too.

At the meeting, the Foreign Minister also underlined that Estonia continues to support the European Commission’s proposals on tying EU devices with macroeconomical conditions, especially budget criteria. “We support, on principle, strict compliance and adherence to EU rules and ensuring equal treatment for member states in different cases,” Paet said and added that possible sanctions for failing to comply with the rules would be enforced on both commitments as well as payments.

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