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Today at Toompea Castle the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met the President of the German Bundestag Norbert Lammert, who is on an unofficial visit to Estonia in connection with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation conference. During the conversation the bilateral relations between the states and parliaments, as well as parliamentary elections, were discussed.

Ergma stressed the close parliamentary relations of the two countries, both between the parliamentary structures of the two states and also through the Bundestag International Parliamentary Scholarship programme that has been available for young professionals of Estonia since 1992. Since the beginning of the programme, more than 60 young people of Estonia have taken part in it, and according to Ergma, it has been a very good possibility for introducing parliamentary work.  

Ergma gave an overview of the results of the Riigikogu elections. The subject of internet elections was touched upon in more detail and Ergma noted that the constant increase in the number of e-voters proved the need for such a possibility of voting.

The recent economic crisis was also discussed and in Ergma’s opinion it was clear that both states were coming out of it. Speaking of economic relations, the President of the Riigikogu said that both Estonia and Germany pursue responsible economic policy and share common views on making the euro zone more competitive. “We hope that the planned stability programmes are sufficiently ambitious to bring the finances of the EU states back to the path of sustainability,” she said.

Ergma also emphasised that Germany is one of the most important trade partners of Estonia, and after the decline during the economic crisis, the bilateral trade has again achieved its pre-crisis level. “German investments to Estonia are welcome, and among Estonian exporters there is great interest in selling their products in Germany,” she noted.

Before meeting with Ergma, Lammert gave a speech to the Riigikogu, in which he recalled the 20th anniversary of re-establishing the independence of Estonia and the re-unification of Germany. The President of Bundestag acknowledged the cooperation of the two states during those years and expressed hope that it would become even closer.

Lammert also had a meeting today with the Estonia-Germany parliamentary group of the Riigikogu and its Chairman Urmas Klaas. Tomorrow the President of Bundestag will meet the President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

Photos of today’s meetings are available at: https://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2011/eneergma/Bundestag_mai_2011/

The Riigikogu Press Service