Estonia

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President

Prime Minister

Kersti Kaljulaid (Non-partisan, since October 2016)

Jüri Ratas (Centre Party, since November 2016)

Population 1,311,998
Size 42,925.46 km2 (26,672.64 sq mi)
MEPs 6 (Joined the EU in 2004)
Next presidential election

 

Next legislative election

2021

 

2024

Presidency of the Council After 2030
Last meeting with Boris Johnson None held to date
Brexit priorities At the EU level, Estonia and the UK were often on the same side in discussions, particularly on business and internal market policies. Getting a good trade deal, particularly for Estonian tech firms based in London, will be a top priority.

The Prime Minister has confirmed he believes good relations and cooperation with the UK are very important, particularly in relation to defence. With Russia looming at its border, Estonia is keen to have a powerful partner in NATO. Estonia is set to receive 800 British troops in the coming months to deter Russia.

What Mr Ratas said on Brexit “The UK will be an important partner for Estonia and an ally in both the economic and security spheres in the future as well. This is affirmed, among other things, by the fact that a NATO multinational battalion under their leadership will be stationed in Estonia soon”

“It is in our collective interest that the UK remain close to the EU. To be sure, Britain will want a tailor-made arrangement with us.”

“A close relationship between the UK and the EU is a matter of common interest. The United Kingdom is and will remain an important European country in both political and economic terms and an essential partner in the field of security. However, there are no benefits without responsibilities – access to the internal market is linked to full acceptance of the four fundamental freedoms,”

“The presence of our allies in the Baltic countries and Poland is essential to guarantee our security, and the UK has contributed significantly to that. The defence forces of Estonia and the UK cooperate very closely and actively in this area.”

Estonia’s priorities Estonians went to the polls in March 2019. The opposition liberal Reform party won the general election with 28.8% of the vote, ahead of the Centre Party on 23%, while the far-right Conservative People’s party (EKRE) more tripled its share to 17.8%.

Reform leader Kaja Kallas failed to find a majority, which allowed Jüri Ratas of the Centre Party to build another coalition instead. He secured an agreement with the conservative Fatherland party and EKRE group. Together they have 56 seats in a 101-seat Parliament.

The coalition plans include EKRE’s strict immigration policies, including pledges Estonia will not take in any refugees. There will also be a wider use of referendums, with one scheduled in 2021 on whether a marriage should be defined in law as between a man and a woman.

The government also plans to sell off state assets. It also wants to keep close to NATO and plans to spend at least 2.0% of GDP on defence.

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