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Government endorses principles of Estonia's EU presidency program

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Brussels.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Brussels. Source: (Thierry Charlier/AFP/Scanpix)

During a meeting in Brussels on Wedneday, the Estonian government approved in principle Estonia's EU presidency program based on four EU presidency priorities.

The government plans to approve the program in its final form at its June 29 meeting, spokespeople for the government told BNS.

The government had previously confirmed the four priorities of Estonia's presidency, which include a Europe with an open and innovative economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and the free movement of information as well as an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

On the subject of an open and innovative Europe, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said that a strong economy is based on an innovative and open economic model. "Estonia's aim is to help stimulate the economy of the EU and create modern jobs," he said.

Speaking about security and a protected Europe, the prime minister emphasized that during its presidency of the EU, Estonia wishes to offer concrete and modern solutions to improve safety and security in an open Europe. "Alongside modern IT solutions, Estonia stands for strengthening cooperation across borders and considers very important the strengthening of defense cooperation," he said.

On the topic of a digital Europe and the free movement of information, Ratas said that a fast, high-quality and accessible internet connection was the basis of a smart and data-driven economy. "Estonia stands for the considerable expansion of the possibilities that European people have," he said. "This means the development of both e-commerce and e-services."

Speaking about an inclusive and sustainable Europe, the prime minister said that people are the basis of societal and economic success. "In an inclusive Europe, Estonia will stand for ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities," he said.

Four priorities, 18 subchapters

In the program approved in principle at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Estonia's four big priorities have been divided into 18 subchapters. The program includes nearly 80 bills of legislation meant for the promotion of said priorities.

Discussion about the priorities has taken place in parliamentary committees and has been introduced at public inclusion events in both Estonia and Brussels. Based on the priorities, a presidency program has been compiled which was approved in principle on Wednesday and had been previously discussed with the Estonian ministries.

Beginning July 1 and through the end of the year, Estonia will be handed the responsibility of organizing all work at the Council of the European Union. The Estonian government is currently on a visit to Brussels to introduce the priorities of Estonia's EU presidency to the European Commission.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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