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The President of the Republic presented the Ernst Jaakson Award

The President of the Republic Lennart Meri presented the Ernst Jaakson Award to Katrin Saarsalu

The President of the Republic presented the Ernst Jaakson Award to Katrin Saarsalu, the Director General of the European integration department of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Kadriorg this afternoon.

The Ernst Jaakson award, which is issued to public servants for excellent service, was this year granted to Katrin Saarsalu, who has worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on several posts since 1991; her service has been most outstanding within last years, on the accession negotiations to the European Union. Today three years ago, Estonia was among the first candidate countries to be included in the new round of EU enlargement.

Also members of the Board of the Ernst Jaakson Foundation – the Minister of Foreign Affairs Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the Chairman of Emmaste Rural Municipality Council Jüri Lauter, and the Emmaste Rural Municipality Mayor Heller Sööl, as well as the Chairman of the Foundation Kalev Kotkas, Member of the Riigikogu, were present at the presentation of the award.

When handing over the award, President Lennart Meri highlighted the need to inform the Estonian people through the media of Estonia's real success on the EU accession negotiations, to which the laureate has made an exemplary contribution.

The conversation following the award presentation ceremony concentrated on the ways to create a clearer picture of the reasons for accession to the European Union. "We can only choose between two possibilities – to join the European Union in the West or to fall back under the Russian Federation," President Meri and Foreign Minister Ilves stated.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, March 30, 2001


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