In his speech focusing on the future of the European Union before the European Parliament on Wednesday, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that Estonia does not wish for the European Union to be redesigned in a way that could lead to a lesser role for smaller nations.
“I would like to paraphrase former Estonian President Lennart Meri, who once said that small nations in Europe are the glue, the oil and the cement in the European construction. Therefore, allow me to express here modest enthusiasm when it comes to grand institutional designs in Europe which could lead to lesser role of smaller nations in our common institutions. Less diversity will also result in less Europe,” Ratas said in his speech.
Europe’s core strength is its diversity, Ratas said. “Being European adds a rich layer to one’s identity. Nothing represents this better than the fate of small nations in the European family,” he added.
“The European Union cannot assume that our values and interests are self-evidently protected. We must stand up for them together, because the impact we can have on the rest of the world is important for our future. The European Union must actively defend its citizens and member states, but also the citizens and member states must stand for the European Union.”