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The President of the Republic delivered a lecture at the University of Jyväskylä

The President Arnold Rüütel and Martti Ahtisaari, former President of FinlandPresident Rüütel today at the University of Jyväskylä, in the Martti Ahtisaari lecture series on world politics, delivered a lecture on the cooperation in the Baltic Sea and European Union development area and the choices of Estonia. The Estonian Head of State in his lecture focussed on the need to introduce new standards, which derives from the EU enlargement. The lecture of the President of the Republic attracted great attention of the public of Central Finland.

According to the President of the Republic, one of the major factors in the development of the European Union was regional cooperation. "It appears that balance of the future development can be ensured by at once taking account of regional interests and integrating different regions," President Rüütel said.

President Rüütel also emphasized that each country had an important role in the European Union. In his words, a small country could become kind of incubator for promoting knowledge-based economy, implementing new technologies, developing democratic institutions and conferring with interest groups.

The President of the Republic in his speech also expanded on the fact that development is increasingly powered by social stability, which requires active cooperation. On top of that, the Estonian Head of State stressed that social cohesion and willingness to dialogue were preconditions of democratic developments and creative cooperation.

Speaking about values supported by the enlargement of the European Union, the President of the Republic also touched upon Estonia’s contribution. According to President Rüütel, Estonia's historical experience taught us to carefully consider dangers of ignoring national interests and values, and to appreciate skills to reach balance between leadership methods protecting public interests and taking account of peculiarities.

"Estonia in the European Union under no circumstances will become a naysayer, as it sometimes has been suggested. This can be corroborated, for instance, by our thus-far active participation in both regional cooperation and planning the future of the European Union. Estonia wants to be a welfare state respecting and supporting basic European values, and an active contributor orientated towards cooperation," President Rüütel said.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, November 17, 2003

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