Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Having the NCM in Estonia has brought us even closer to the Nordic countries

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Urmas PaetSpeaking today, 16 September 2011, on the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Estonian office of the Nordic Council of Minister (NCM), Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the council's presence in the country had brought Estonia closer to the Nordic countries, boosting cooperation and interpersonal connections with the region.

Paet said that whereas in the early years the council represented more of a helping hand to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, today the relationship it and the Nordic countries generally share with the Baltic States is one of a mutually beneficial partnership. "Estonian university students have gotten to study in the Nordic countries, our governments have found reliable partners, people in the field of culture have been inspired by new ideas and our entrepreneurs have made valuable business contacts, all on the initiative and with the support of the NCM," he said, adding that Estonia today has a lot to offer the Nordic countries itself. "We've come up with quite a few good ideas of our own, like the e-health project, which a number of countries in the region have shown a keen interest in."

Paet said that one of the aims of the NCM was also to more broadly promote the Nordic lifestyle. "At the moment in Tallinn we have the 'Rohevik' green growth festival, May was Nordic Design Month, and we've been showcasing Nordic food culture as part of the 'New Nordic Food' project," he explained, outlining some of the events that have been instigated by the council.

The foreign minister also highlighted the contribution that the NCM has made in promoting regional development in Estonia. He added that the council's Tartu branch office and its information points in Narva, Pärnu and Valga had given everyone in the country the chance to get to know the Nordic countries that little bit better and that its network of offices had helped to more broadly promote Nordic values and boost contact throughout Estonia.

Press service of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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