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Foreign ministers of Baltic Sea states discussed digital cooperation, the COVID-19 crisis and renewable energy

20. May 2020 - 11:20

Yesterday 19 May, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu attended a video meeting of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Main topics included the inclusion of young people, the climate and the environment, and fighting cross-border crime.

Urmas Reinsalu thanked the foreign minister of Denmark for the country’s successful presidency and the implementation of council reforms. Denmark holds the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States from July 2019 to July this year.

In his statement at the meeting, Reinsalu emphasised the importance of digital cooperation. “The COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown the importance of exchanging information at various levels on healthcare, security, the economy and education. We should all value and support the development of modern digital technology and find a more efficient mechanism for sharing each other’s experiences and best practices. Estonia is ready to share its experiences,” Reinsalu assured.

“In a rapidly changing world, increasing the role of young people and amplifying their voice in the society and at various levels of policy-making has been a long-term priority of the government of Estonia,” Reinsalu said. “Estonia is among the few European countries where from 2016, it is possible to vote in local elections from the age of 16.”

Reinsalu also reaffirmed Estonia’s support for various regional initiatives for encouraging sustainable development, dealing with climate change and protecting the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. “Among other things, the European Green Deal supports switching to renewable sources. There are several ways to increase the share of renewable energy in Estonia and the Baltic Sea region – we can use the potential of the wind energy of the Baltic Sea together.”

Digital cooperation is also important for fighting crime. “The character of organised crime is changing: the share of cybercrime is growing quickly, corruption is becoming more covert, new complicated forms of cross-border crime are emerging, such as hybrid and financial crimes. Not to mention new threats related to the development of technology, such as virtual currencies and artificial intelligence,” Reinsalu said.

At the meeting, the Bornholm Declaration was adopted, stipulating the priorities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

In July, Lithuania takes over the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

Read the full statement: https://vm.ee/et/uudised/statement-urmas-reinsalu-high-level-meeting-cou...

Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNj7LuR

Additional information:
Pia Kuusik
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Media Adviser
Communication Department
+372 637 7628; +372 5635 7866
www.vm.ee

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