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The heads of state of Estonia and Portugal discussed the options available for deeper co-operation

The heads of state of Estonia and Portugal discussed the options available for deeper co-operation © Office of the President

16.04.2019

President Kersti Kaljulaid, who is on a state visit to Portugal, met today with her Portuguese colleague, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The main issues discussed by the heads of state were deeper co-operation between the two countries in the sphere of digital issues and e-governance, security issues and items related to the future of the European Union.

“Estonia and Portugal have much in common – both countries are innovative and digitally inclined; both see the European Union as a solution, not a problem. And both countries share a clear understanding that security is indivisible and is fully around us, along with the cyber sphere,” said President Kaljulaid after the meeting with her Portuguese colleague. The President of the Republic also introduced Estonia’s e-governance opportunities and development at the meeting.

The presidents of the two countries stated that considering everything, cooperation between the two countries and their enterprises offers tremendous potential. “Several Estonian companies have already discovered the Portuguese market and Lisbon as a destination for expansion,” stated President Kaljulaid. She gave the example of the start-up companies Monese and Pipedrive, the offices of which she will also visit during the state visit, along with that of Bolt. The Head of State also expressed her hope that new cooperation projects will evolve from the contacts established by the business delegation accompanying her at the state visit.

The heads of state also discussed the challenges faced by the European Union and issues related to the upcoming European Parliament elections. “A strong and uniform European Union serves the interests of both Estonia and Portugal. We are both interested in a well-functioning common market and digital common market, and many of our expectations for the next EU financial period coincide,” said President Kaljulaid, and she emphasised that both the EU and NATO are only strong and efficient as long as contributions are made to both organisations by their member states.

The President of the Republic also thanked her colleague for Portugal’s contribution to the Baltic air security mission. “Just like your aircraft are today guarding our airspace, all the missions where Estonian troops are deployed are aimed against threats from the south, in one way or another. Even when our assessment of threats doesn’t necessarily coincide, such a contribution shows that both countries have a clear idea that security is indivisible. And many new threats are independent of geography altogether,” said the Head of State, referring to cyber and hybrid threats.

Today and tomorrow, President Kaljulaid is on a state visit to Portugal. She is accompanied by a 25 member delegation of entrepreneurs and the Commander of the Defence Forces, Major General Martin Herem, Member of Parliament Aivar Sõerd Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist, Rector of University of Tartu, Toomas Asser, and the Head of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Toomas Luman. The state visit is the most ceremonial form of communication between two countries.