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.
Mikser, Foreign Minister of Germany discuss challenges facing EU
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.
Foreign Minister Mikser affirmed Estonia’s preparedness for Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting in 8 days, which is a great responsibility in the light of the many challenges currently facing Europe. “It is impossible for one member state or a group of member states to solve every challenge. The UK withdrawal from the EU, the migration crisis, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and a number of other issues, affect us as a whole. Therefore, it is important to look for lasting solutions by working together,” Foreign Minister Mikser said. “Only by working together can the EU ensure the wellbeing and safety of its citizens,” he added.
Talking about the future of the EU, Foreign Minister Mikser stressed that it is necessary to have a strong partnership and open and forward-looking discussions. “It is important to maintain the unity and decisiveness of the EU and focus on positive results,” the Foreign Minister noted. Foreign Minister Mikser and his German counterpart reaffirmed that maintaining the unity of the EU is a priority during Brexit negotiations.
Discussing the priorities of the Estonian Presidency, with a focus on the Eastern Partnership, Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised the importance of supporting the reforms of the Eastern partners to bring them closer to the EU. The foreign ministers also discussed the Eastern Partnership Summit taking place during the Estonian Presidency. “We are working to achieve ambitious and motivating results at the Eastern Partnership Summit. It is necessary that we support the Eastern partners’ enthusiasm to continue reforming their countries and societies,” Foreign Minister Mikser said.
According to Foreign Minister Mikser, the key topics of the Estonian Presidency are also the development of a digital Europe and the free movement of data. “Developing the digital single market, which offers considerable untapped potential, is one important priority of the Estonian Presidency,” Foreign Minister Mikser added.
The foreign ministers talked about the importance of transatlantic cooperation and according to Foreign Minister Mikser, the US is an important partner for Europe in foreign policy and security matters.
In addition, the foreign ministers discussed issues related to Russia and developments in the Western Balkans.
Foreign Minister Mikser also met with the Bundestag's Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the Baltic States and gave a speech at the German Council of Foreign Relations.
Website eu2017.ee provides all the information about the events and news of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas participated in a high level meeting of the Benelux, Nordic, and Baltic countries this evening in The Hague and called for increased cooperation on the creation of the EU digital single market.