At today’s meeting with President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas confirmed Estonia’s strong support to Kosovo’s aspirations towards the European Union membership and achieving visa freedom.
“Estonia has always been a strong supporter of the state of Kosovo, and we reaffirm our continuous support,” Ratas said. “One of our roles in the EU is to continue working in the name of granting visa freedom to Kosovo. We know how important it is to open doors and break ice. There is no doubt that Estonia will continue to support Kosovo’s aspirations, but we have to understand that this alone is not sufficient for the EU, and it is necessary to achieve the approval of all Member States and meet all criteria.”
Ratas recalled that Estonia had recognized the independence of Kosovo in 2008. “From our own historical experience, we remember very well how important the early international recognition and support for establishing a democratic society was,” Ratas said. “Estonia has carried out quite difficult social reforms a couple of decades ago, and we know how hard it can be. Now we are ready to support the reform processes in Kosovo.”
Ratas underlined that Estonia was ready to share its EU integration and reform process experience, especially in the field of rule of law, good governance and areas related to e-governance services.
Ratas noted that, 16 years ago, Estonia had started with the i-voting and was now ready to share its years of experience. “Our companies are ready to share their knowledge and technology, for example solutions based on digitalisation or artificial intelligence,” Ratas added.
Ratas pointed out that in terms of economy, Estonia and Kosovo were very similar. “We are both small and export-oriented. We are also both well informed of the potential of digital economy,” Ratas said. “As a small country, we know from first-hand experience how important it is to keep the business climate investor friendly and provide a transparent and secure legal space for them to manage their assets. Digitalisation is, of course, a helpful tool for this purpose.”
The President of Kosovo thanked Estonia for the support to Kosovo’s independence, and said that Estonia was an example to them in building up their democratic independent country. She emphasised that the country had developed and changed a lot over the years. In her opinion, the population of Kosovo is young and pro-European. She underlined that the strategic goals of her country were NATO and European Union membership.
Photos of the meeting (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)
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