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The President of the Republic participated in the Baltic Development Forum Summit

President Rüütel left yesterday, October 16, for a working visit to the Kingdom of Sweden in order to participate in the Baltic Development Forum held in Stockholm.

Yesterday, the Estonian Head of State attended the official opening ceremony of the 7th Annual Baltic Development Forum Summit in the Swedish Parliament, and a dinner hosted by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. The topics discussed at the dinner covered the agenda of the forthcoming EU Summit, the economic and social development of the EU, and the EU's Financial Perspective.

This morning, President Rüütel took part in the work of the Development Forum and made a speech at the plenary session, which focused on the boosting of the EU's new Lisbon Strategy. In his speech, President Rüütel noted that the development of the Baltic Sea region had been remarkably quick in recent years and the forecast for the next few years was optimistic. "I also believe that the Initiative's goal of turning the Baltic Sea region into a so-called role model in Europe by 2010 is achievable if we succeed in pooling our intellectual resources and in following the course of innovation and sustainability," the Estonian Head of State added.

The President of the Republic also stressed that while pursuing quick economic development we should not forget the Baltic Sea and the risks involved in rapid growth of economic activities. "The traffic of big tankers in our common sea is growing year after year; new gigantic pipelines and high capacity transmission cables are built on the bottom of the sea. Such situation demands from us high responsibility and respect for environment as well as for each other's interests," President Rüütel said.

At lunch, the President of the Republic met with the Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson and they discussed the topics related to the forthcoming EU Summit and the further development of the EU. President Rüütel gave information about the results of the elections to local government councils in Estonia.

Thereafter, the Estonian Head of State met with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The meeting addressed the development of the Baltic Sea region, the Swedish-Estonian bilateral relations and mutual cultural influences.
President Rüütel will also visit the Vasa Museum and the Estonian Embassy, where he will meet members of the Estonian Scientific Society in Sweden.

President Rüütel will arrive in Estonia late tonight.

Baltic Development Forum ( is an independent non-profit networking organisation consisting of more than 2000 members - large companies, major cities, business associations from all over the Baltic Sea region and from further away. In 2005 the Forum will focus on the competitiveness and innovation in the Baltic Sea region during the next five years (The Baltic Sea region as a Role Model - Achieving Global Excellence in Competitiveness and Innovation by 2010). The Chairman of the Forum is the former Danish foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, October 17, 2005

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