Estonia struggling to find staff for 2018 EU presidency (5)
Calculations show that Estonia needs around 1,000 civil servants during its turn to host the EU presidency in the first six months of 2018.
The army of office workers will have to lead 200 working groups, make preparations for processing between 500-700 bills, and organize 1,600-2,000 official meetings, Eesti Päevaleht reported.
Half of the 1,000 officials would be working as group heads or deputy heads, and 200 would be have to be based in Brussels, doubling the number of Estonians currently working at the Estonian representation to the EU.
Estonia has been preparing for its six-month rotation since 2012, and is currently in the process of drawing up a list of what is needed and what the nation already has in terms of the necessary workforce. Performing the task of the presidency requires the use of all the machinery of Estonian government.
Piret Lilleväli, in charge of the preparations for the presidency at the Government Office, said that due to budget restraints, many government officials will have to take on two jobs during the period.
Latvia, which began hosting the presidency from the beginning of January, is expecting 20,000 politicians and officials to visit the country. The national library has been turned into a conference center. Latvia's budget for the presidency is around 70 million euros.
Estonia will assume the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2018. The task of the presidency is to ensure coordination and consistency in the decision-making process of the European Council. The presidency is neutral and impartial in disputes, which means giving proper consideration to all the positions provided.
In addition to EU presidency, Estonia is also celebrating its centenary anniversary of its independence in 2018, adding an extra pressure for various institutions.