„It is a great political and economic success for Estonia,“ Hans-Gert Poettering, Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament on the referendum in Estonia.

The Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has welcomed the result of the EU accession referendum in Estonia. Poettering congratulated the Prime Minister Juhan Parts on this great success saying „I am happy to see that the results of the work of the Government will enable Estonia to take its rightful place within the EU. It is a great political and economic success for Estonia.“

„I would like to congratulate all who contributed to this positive result, in particular the member parties of the EPP, Pro Patria Union and Res Publica who played a positive and leading role throughout the integration process as well as in the campaign. Those parties have always had a clear view on European enlargement and the future of Estonia. I have enjoyed working with their observers in the European Parliament and it is sure that Estonia will make a significant contribution to the European policy, especially through the actions of the Christian-democratic and conservative parties of Europe,“ declared Poettering from Brussels.

Poettering added, „Europe will very soon reach a historic juncture. The once Communist dominated nations of Eastern Europe will regain their rightful place in the family of Europe, that is based on democratic principles, law and respect for human rights. Estonian people have decided to say strong YES to Europe – it is definitely the most important decision to guarantee Estonia’s development, stability and peace in the future.“

It was the EPP-ED Group that insisted that the timetable for accession would allow the new Member States to join the Union in time to participate in the European elections held in June 2004.

Since March, Estonia is the eighth country to have a successful result on the referendum for EU membership. „I have great hope that also Latvian people will make a positive decision on this crucial matter and Europe is able to welcome 10 new members to take their rightful place in the united Europe“, concluded Poettering.

Further information from Katrin Ruhrmann, Tel. +32 475 493357 or Berit Teeäär, Tel. +32 475 750494

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