Estonian, German heads of state talk about bilateral relations in Berlin

Kersti Kaljulaid ja Joachim Gauck kohtumisel Berliinis. PHOTO: SCANPIX

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and her German counterpart Joachim Gauck discussed the two countries' relations, the future of the European Union and the European security situation at a meeting in Berlin on Friday, spokespeople for the Estonian president said.

"Germany is one of our closest partners in the European Union and NATO, and bilaterally in the economy, digital cooperation, education, research, as well as culture," Kaljulaid said after the meeting.

The bilateral relations are very good and consistent, and the countries are characterized by a common perception of the changed security situation, the Estonian head of state observed. "We have developed a very broad-based cooperation in defense over the years. Germany is indisputably one of our most active European allies in ensuring regional security, contributing constantly to the guarding of Baltic airspace," Kaljulaid said.

For the last two years Germany has been Estonia's fourth-largest trading partner after Finland, Sweden and Latvia, Kaljulaid noted. "Germany is one of the most attractive target markets for Estonian entrepreneurs. This was confirmed by the leaders of Estonian start-ups active in Germany I met in Berlin yesterday," she said. In her opinion, Estonia and Germany also have similar views on EU economic questions more broadly.

Kaljulaid and Gauck also brought up digital cooperation. "I can firmly say that there is in Germany great interest in Estonian IT developments and e-governance solutions. The aim is to reach actual e-governance cooperation projects," she added.

During her visit Kaljulaid also met with the president of the German parliament, Norbert Lammert, representatives of the Bundestag's German-Baltic group and members of the German Council of Foreign Relations.

On Thursday the head of state laid white roses at the Berlin Wall memorial and had meetings with Estonians doing business in Germany and members of the local Estonian community.

Kaljulaid will return to Estonia on Friday night.