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The proposal of the President of the Republic to conclude a national agreement is obtaining support

President Arnold Rüütel's proposal to conclude in Estonia a national agreement, after having over the last three weeks been explained to the political parties, employers, employees and representatives of the third sector, increasingly has gained their support.

President Rüütel already in his inauguration speech on 8 October 2001 emphasized that, regarding the problems important to the development of Estonia, it was necessary to progress towards social dialogue and consensual policy. The President's Academic Council having gathered for its first session in 2002, backed the proposal of the Head of State to work out the ideology of the national agreement and to determine the subject area, in which we, in order to boost both our economic and social development, have to set ourselves objectives based on consensus. Furthermore, it was underlined that our rapid and radical economic reforms need to be consolidated and developed further by means of enhancing social security and raising quality of life.

The President has made similar proposals in many of his public appearances, and the President's team has been engaged in relevant work too. As a result, we can say today that all potential partners to the agreement have taken a positive stand on the initiative of the President and are pondering the idea to sign a memorandum of Estonian national agreement, which would lead to drawing up the text of the agreement and, thereafter, signing it in the second half of this year.

At this point, it is important to note that, in addition to the President Aadu Luukas, long-time leader of the Estonian Business Association, and several political parties and citizens' organisations, too, having realized the need for consensual solutions and implementation of the principles of participatory democracy have made a great job for the sake of reaching the above goal. We also welcome the today's decision of the Board of the Centre Party to support the proposal to rapidly work out and sign the national agreement.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 27, 2003

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