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The President of the Republic met with the French Minister for European Affairs

The President of the Republic met with the French Minister for European AffairsPresident Arnold Rüütel today at a meeting at Kadriorg discussed with the French Minister for European Affairs, Noélle Lenoir, issues of the future of the European Union.

The Estonian Head of State placed great hopes on decisions of the European Convention looking upon the future European Union as a democratic association of nation states, in which each member irrespective of its size had an equal right to vote. Furthermore, the President deemed it necessary that experience and culture of different peoples forming our shared European heritage be taken into consideration.

Minister Lenoir expressed his support to principles like these and assured that the Convention, too, backed them. He attached importance not only to the role of every new member state in the European Union but also to Union’s close political and economic relations with its new neighbours, to the development of which just Estonia could contribute.

President Rüütel thanked France for the support to Estonia both in restoring its independence and in striving for our current goals, and voiced hope that our long-standing fruitful relationship strengthened in the European Union still more.

In parallel with the meeting, a seminar took place in the Office of the President, where French state and local government officials, businessmen and economists briefed members of the President's Roundtable of Local Government and Regional Development of possibilities of local governments in the European Union. Closing the seminar, President Rüütel expressed hope that seminars like this helped to streamline Estonia's administrative system based on local government and, through that, benefited people.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 2, 2003

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