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Ratas, Tusk discuss upcoming Estonian EU council presidency

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Brussels. May 3, 2017.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Brussels. May 3, 2017. Source: (Government Office)

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) met with the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in Brussels on Wednesday. They discussed priority issues for the European Union in the second half of 2017, when Estonia will preside over the Council of the European Union, and upcoming summits as well as council meetings.

Ratas said in a press release on Wednesday evening that he and Tusk had discussed issues expected to come up during Estonia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union later this year, but also expectations towards Estonia and opportunities to work together with Tusk.

Talking about the working schedule for the second half of 2017, Ratas stressed that discussions about the future of the union would continue, but that decisions needed to be made as well.

“The council has issued several directives that directly affect people’s everyday lives and well-being. For example opening up the possibilities of the digital single market for the people no later than in 2018,” Ratas pointed out, adding that it was up to Estonia to see to it during its presidency that these decisions would be turned into actions.

The Estonian government met in Brussels on Wednesday. In its session there, it adopted four priorities for the upcoming EU presidency.

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: Dario Cavegn

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