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The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met the Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania Vydas Gedvilas at Toompea Castle today. At the meeting, the economic cooperation, joint action in the European Union and other international organisations, and parliamentary communication of the two countries were discussed.

Ene Ergma congratulated the new head of the Lithuanian parliament who had assumed office at the end of the previous year, and she confirmed that the cooperation of the parliaments of the two countries, as well as inter-state relations between the two close partners had been very good and productive. “Similar views have enabled us to successfully protect our common interests in the European Union and in international organisations. A recent example of this is the effective cooperation in the EU 2014‒2020 budget negotiations,” she said.

The President of the Riigikogu also stressed the need for a common energy policy. When speaking about the Visaginas nuclear power station project, she highlighted Estonia’s continuous support to the project both at the political level and in terms of investment, provided that the construction is profitable and the project is transparent. The head of the Lithuanian Parliament assured that a decision on the nuclear power station would be made during the coming months.

Ergma urged Estonia’s partner to even closer cooperation with the Rail Baltica railway project encompassing all Baltic states and Poland. “The recent decision of the EU Council to support this rail link so utterly vital to us provides an opportunity to proceed rapidly with the actual work together. Rail Baltica will have to be an example of concrete cooperation of the Baltic states,” she said.

The heads of parliaments also spoke of Lithuania’s upcoming presidency of the European Union together with Ireland and Greece. The priorities of Lithuania’s presidency are very important themes also to Estonia. The preparatory activities of the Lithuanian Seimas and practical experience in conducting parliamentary events will definitely be of interest also to the Riigikogu, Ergma noted. At the same time she raised the need for closer practical communication between the standing committees of the parliaments, and that also within the framework of the cooperation of the Baltic Assembly in order to make the work of the Baltic Assembly even more efficient and visible.

The Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Arto Aas and Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa also took part in today’s meeting. The Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas will also meet the President of the Republic Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and the Vice-President of the Riigikogu Laine Randjärv today.

Photos of today’s meeting are available at: http://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2013/Ene+Ergma/Vydas_Gedvilas/

The Riigikogu Press Service