*The EU budget for 2007-2013 and the ratification of the European constitution were the main topics discussed by Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet at a meeting in Prague yesterday.
Svoboda pointed out that the new talks on the EU financial perspectives, following the failure to agree on the topic at the recent EU summit in Brussels, should be oriented towards investments in human resources which would increase the EU's competitiveness.
Estonia is often mentioned as a country which attracts foreign investments and supports science and research, all of which helped it to reach a more than five percent economic growth.
Svoboda told journalists that the Czech Republic and ......
.......... Estonia had many joint interests with regard to the future of EU finances, such as the emphasis on economic solidarity or the amount of their contributions to the joint EU budget.
Paet said that Estonia one of the countries most willing to reach a compromise at the summit in Brussels. However, both ministers made it clear that there was only space for "cosmetic changes" in the draft EU budget.
Svoboda and Paet agreed that the EU constitution was not dead after its rejection by France and the Netherlands in referenda. Paet said that its text was a "good compromise."
"Let's hope that both our countries will achieve an affirmative ratification of the document in the next two or three years," he said.
Svoboda said that the Czech Republic supported Estonia's candidacy for a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council in 2008-2009.
Paet also held talks yesterday with Defence Minister Karel Kuehnl and was scheduled to meet with Industry and Trade Minister Milan Urban and Chamber of Deputies chairman Lubomir Zaoralek.