Reykjavik, Iceland, 29 May 2018
In the meeting today with the Icelandic leaders, Jüri Ratas discussed the possibilities to widen the cooperation between Estonia and the Nordic countries within cultural and science networks.
“I highly appreciate this special and warm friendship between Estonia and Iceland. Us both being small states, we understand that supporting each other will make our voices heard more clearly in the international arena. In the present-day world, it is very important that Estonia and Iceland, the Baltic States and other Nordic Countries work together and stand together,” Ratas noted after the meeting with Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, the President of Iceland, and Steingrímur Jóhann Sigfússon, the Speaker of the Icelandic parliament.
Ratas believes that one way of intensifying the cooperation is to join the networks of cultural funds and science of the Nordic countries. “By successfully participating in Nordplus, a programme that supports mobility for studying, lifelong learning, and exchanging experiences, we are inspired to participate in other cooperation programmes of the Nordic countries, too,” Ratas noted.
Prime Minister Ratas and his Icelandic counterpart Katrín Jakobsdóttir also discussed digital development, economic relations with the European Union; the state of the common market after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, transatlantic relations, climate change, and defence and cyber security cooperation.
“Estonia and Iceland both value internet freedom highly, but we also understand the threats that are related with it, and the need to protect people in the digital world the same way as we do on the streets,” Ratas said.
Ratas recognised the contribution that Iceland has made to the security of the Baltic States, and thus the whole of NATO, and highlighted the commitment of the island nation on following the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and their aim to exceed its objectives. States that joined the Paris Agreement, including Estonia, set the goal of lowering the level of greenhouse gases by 40 per cent compared to 1990.
The Prime Minister forwarded Jakobsdóttir an official invitation to Tallinn Digital Summit that is organised in Tallinn this fall.
This evening, the Prime Minister will meet with the local Estonian community and friends of Estonia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonia. This year, Iceland also celebrates the 100th anniversary of their sovereignty: on 1 December, it will be a hundred years from the signing of the Danish-Icelandic act of Union, where Denmark recognised Iceland as a fully independent sovereign state.