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Government of Finland and Government of Estonia agree on deeper cooperation

Government Communications Department
Publication date 7.5.2018 18.15
Press release 237/2018

Finland and Estonia will deepen cooperation in transport, in digital networks, in cultural connections and in promoting the EU’s sustainable growth. Both countries feel for example that the planned tunnel connection between the two countries has substantial potential, which, if it materialises, would have positive repercussions far into the future.

The Government of Finland and the Government of Estonia convened together for the first time in history on 7 May in Tallinn in Estonia. The historical meeting was the first time that the Finnish government travelled abroad to convene with another country’s government. The meeting in Tallinn is also part of the two countries centenary celebrations.

Finland and Estonia building ‘bridges’

The jubilee meeting reached agreement on many concrete measures that will strengthen economic and cultural developments in Finland and Estonia. Two small countries together are much bigger, and the physical and digital connections between them will be enhanced by improving transport and energy networks and by exchanging digital information. The two nations will also increase cultural exports and facilitate cooperation in international marketing of education.

Finland and Estonia will also seek to accelerate economic growth through the EU. The two countries have agreed to work together even more closely than before and will endeavour to boost the EU’s sustainable growth by fostering trade and commerce, the circular economy, the Digital Agenda for Europe and the operation of the internal market, for example.

In his speech at the jubilee meeting, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä noted that cooperation between Finland and Estonia already serves as a good example in developing the internal market.

- We have managed to make the internal market function in our own area. Our cooperation encompasses all four areas of freedom. This day has shown that our bilateral cooperation still provides much potential, offering our companies many business opportunities and making the daily lives of our citizens smoother, said Prime Minister Sipilä.

- I can also see a ‘bridge’ between the EU presidencies of our two countries. I wish to thank Estonia for its excellent and productive work during its presidency period. I’m pleased to see that you have managed to blow new life into the Digital Agenda for Europe.  This will certainly be one of priority issues on the agenda during Finland’s presidency period, Sipilä observed.

Statement in full issued by the Government of Finland and the Government of Estonia

Inquiries: Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister's Office