Estonia ends its Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 31 December by handing the role over to Bulgaria for the next 6 months.
Estonia expects European Commission to renew cybersecurity strategy
At today’s General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, the focus was on the meeting of the European Council taking place in two days, which will discuss migration, defence and security policy, employment, economic growth and competitiveness, external relations and a digital Europe.
According to the Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas, it is important for Estonia that the European Council discusses the current situation of the digital single market and provides guidelines for further development. “During our Presidency, Estonia would like to start discussions on a legislative proposal on the free flow of data within the EU, which will concern, among other things, the 'once-only' principle, and we are also expecting the renewed cybersecurity strategy from the Commission in autumn, to move forward with the most important topics,” Deputy Minister Maasikas said.
The General Affairs Council approved the 18-month programme of the Council (the Trio Programme) prepared by the incoming Estonian, Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies, which will ensure the continuity of the Council’s work. The Trio Programme includes matters such as digital services, energy union and climate policy, activities to support economic growth, as well as social dimension, internal security, stable neighbourhood policy, and enlargement.
According to Deputy Minister Maasikas, Estonia, as one of the authors of the Trio Programme, has made sure that all key draft regulations and topics that have to be worked-on in depth during the next 18 months are in the programme. “Migration, security issues and economic growth will remain the main priorities of the EU over the coming years. E-services, e-governance and different e-solutions which are closely linked to economic growth and the safety of everyday life, have a major role in all of these areas,” the Deputy Minister stated.
After the General Affairs Council, the Council in an EU27 format discussed the procedure to decide on the relocation of the two EU agencies currently based in the UK.
Deputy Minister Maasikas met with the Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans in the margins of the Council to discuss the issue of rule of law and interinstitutional cooperation.
The Deputy Minister also had meetings with Baroness Anelay, the UK Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, and the Foreign Minister of Ireland, Simon Coveney.
Website eu2017.ee provides all the information about the events and news of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser met with the Foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, ahead of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised at the meeting in Berlin that Estonia and Germany are close allies and partners, who share the same views on challenges facing the EU.