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.
Prime Minister Ratas: The aim of the Estonian Presidency is to reinforce Europe’s unity
At a meeting with the President of the European Parliament and the heads of political groups, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and cabinet members discussed the priorities of the Estonian Presidency and the cooperation throughout the second half of 2017.
“An overarching objective for the Estonian Presidency is to maintain and strengthen the unity of the European Union,” Ratas said. The prime minister stated that Estonia’s role during its presidency of the Council of the EU is to strike a balance between the different opinions, traditions, and interests within Europe. “A key test of our unity and determination is how we can implement common objectives,” Ratas added.
At the meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the heads of political groups, Ratas presented the four priorities of the Estonian Presidency: an open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and the free flow of data, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe.
“One of Estonia’s priorities – a digital Europe – means solutions affecting our everyday life,” the Prime Minister noted. “The digital single market could contribute €400 million to the EU economy and create thousands of jobs. Europe must act swiftly in order to not lag behind its main competitors.”
According to Ratas, Estonia is committed to finding balanced solutions to the issues of migration, climate change, and energy as well as in the banking sector where a number of comprehensive packages of draft legislation are expected to be scrutinised during the Estonian Presidency.
Estonia will be holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July for the remainder of the second half of the year. The Presidency is responsible for organising the sessions of the Council of the European Union and for the duties of working groups – both preparing agendas and chairing meetings and defining common positions.
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.