At a meeting with President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and the heads of political groups, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Cabinet members discussed the priorities of Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU and cooperation in the second half of 2017.
"An overarching objective for the Estonian presidency is to maintain and strengthen the unity of the European Union," said Ratas according to a government press release. He stated that Estonia's role as the holder of the EU presidency is to strike a balance between the different opinions, traditions and interests within Europe. "A key test of our unity and determination is how we can implement common objectives," he added.
At Tuesday's meeting with President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and the heads of political groups, Ratas presented the four priorities of the upcoming Estonian presidency: an open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and the free flow of data as well as an inclusive and sustainable Europe.
"One of Estonia's priorities — a digital Europe — means solutions affecting our everyday life," noted the Estonian prime minister. "The digital single market could contribute €400 million to the EU economy and create thousands of jobs. Europe must act swiftly in order not to lag behind its main competitors."
According to Ratas, Estonia is committed to finding balanced solutions to the issues of migration, climate change and energy as well as in the banking sector, where a number of comprehensive packages of draft legislation are expected to be scrutinized during the Estonian presidency.
Estonia will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU from July 1 through the end of 2017. The presidency is responsible for organizing sessions of the Council of the EU and for the duties of working groups — both preparing agendas and chairing meetings as well as defining common positions.
Editor: Aili Vahtla