Other member states offer to help Estonia if EU council presidency brought forward
Several countries were offering to help if Estonia needed to take over the UK’s European Union ouncil presidency scheduled for the second half of 2017, Estonian ambassador to the EU, Matti Maasikas, said.
Maasikas admitted that bringing the presidency forward by six months was not Estonia's first choice. “But if the EU needs it, it has to be done. Since Estonia will not make any allowances, we will need all the assistance and support available,” Maasikas wrote on his blog.
He said that several countries, and the United Kingdom in particular, had offered sending their people to help Estonia.
Maasikas wrote that Estonia was very likely to come back to this. “Planning for this change of schedule has already begun in Tallinn under the leadership of project manager Piret Lilleväli, and the presidency committee will come together promptly as well. Less than a year from now our presidency will be on already,” Maasikas wrote.
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) confirmed on Wednesday evening that Estonia was ready to take on the presidency earlier than planned in the place of the United Kingdom in the second half of next year.
“No decision on our presidency yet, but it seems likely we are about to move forward to the second half of 2017,” Rõivas said on social media, adding that the government could manage this.