Estonia welcomes Belgian offer to take over EU council presidency in 2017
Estonia welcomed the offer of the Belgian government to stand in for Britain in 2017’s second EU council presidency slot. At such short notice, performing the duties of the presidency out of Brussels was the easiest solution logistically, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said on Tuesday.
“I repeat that while Estonia is ready to move its presidency forward if necessary, our preference is to take on the presidency of the EU in the jubilee year of the Republic of Estonia. A decision in favor of Belgium would definitely make the preparations we have begun already easier,” Rõivas told BNS.
The prime minister added that the decision about the presidency would be made by the member states based on a proposal by President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and that his government hoped that there would be clarity in the matter as soon as possible, preferably the next few days.
Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (independent) said on Tuesday that Britain’s new foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had had no answer to her question about what would become of the British EU council presidency in 2017.