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EU presidency: Estonia temporarily standing in for Malta this week

Maltese flags. Estonia is taking over the presidency of the EU council from Malta.
Maltese flags. Estonia is taking over the presidency of the EU council from Malta. Source: (Reuters/Scanpix)

Malta has requested that Estonia take on its responsibilities related to the presidency of the Council of the European Union this week. Faced with a government change, Malta is currently busy sorting out its own administration, and asked Estonia to stand in.

Spokeswoman for the organization of the upcoming Estonian EU presidency, Triin Oppi, said on Tuesday that Maltese colleagues had called on Monday asking if Estonian officials could run the meetings of the Council of Ministers this week. "It was a somewhat sudden proposal, but since Estonia's presidency was already moved to start six months earlier, we are very adaptable," spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Rasmus Ruuda told BNS on Tuesday.

Estonian ministers will stand in for their Maltese colleagues in the meetings of two ministerial councils in Luxembourg this week, Oppi said.

"We will definitely have to make changes in our work and the schedule of ministers, but not substantially. It is important to keep in mind that Estonia is not yet representing its positions as a presidency holder, but is continuing with Malta's work. Estonia's presidency term will still start as of July," Ruuda added.

As a result, Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) will head the meeting of EU justice ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday, and on Friday Interior Minister Andres Anvelt (SDE) will head a meeting of EU home affairs ministers. In addition, a meeting of EU economy and transport ministers will be run by Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) and Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Urve Palo (SDE).

The ministers would participate as usual, but also chair discussions of member states and summarizing proposals and speeches, Oppi said.

The party of Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat won an extraordinary parliamentary election in Malta last weekend, as a result of which he has to form a new government.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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