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Estonian and Finnish foreign ministers raise European neighbourhood issue in their joint address

20.10.2010

The Estonian Foreign Minister, Mr. Urmas Paet and Finnish Foreign Minister, Mr. Alexander Stubb, sent a joint address to Mrs. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Mr. Štefan Füle, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, in which Estonia and Finland highlight the need for a European Union neighbourhood policy, which would, with greater commitment, focus upon co-operation between the EU and neighbouring countries and their development.

“The European Union needs to be capable of solving complicated situations, conflicts in the EU neighbourhood included, in order to be an active participant of world politics,” told the Estonian and Finnish foreign ministers.

Mr. Paet and Mr. Stubb emphasised in their letter that developed neighbouring countries also serve as the pre-requisite for the economic development of Europe, including the European Union, and that the European Union make a greater effort towards achieving the desired situation. “The development of both our eastern and southern neighbourhood is important for the future of Europe; the stability, democracy, and economic development of these regions clearly serves the interests of Europe. The European Union needs well-developed and actively co-operating neighbours,“ they wrote. “We must establish realistic objectives for ourselves. To help the neighbours of Europe to become more active partners of the European Union, European neighbourhood policies must be strengthened and implemented,” both the Estonian and Finnish foreign ministers stressed.

Mr. Paet and Mr. Stubb emphasised that both contacts between individuals of the European Union and its neighbouring countries and the countries themselves must be developed, so that countries would have the chance for stronger development. “We must contribute to the development of our neighbours and therefore, enliven economic and trading relations between the European Union and our neighbouring countries, by entering, for example, into useful trading agreements and developing transport links, to meet the objectives established,” said Mr. Paet and Mr. Stubb.

The European Union foreign ministers will next week be discussing the EU’s neighbourhood policies and activities to be launched for developing the neighbourhood, at the meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.


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