At a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Tuesday, Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas said that Estonia expects a renewed cybersecurity strategy from the Commission this fall.
Maasikas said it is important for Estonia that the European Council discuss the current situation of the digital single market and provide guidelines for further development.
"During our presidency, Estonia would like to initiate discussions on a legislative proposal on the free flow of data within the EU, which will concern, among other things, the 'Once-Only' principle, and we are also expecting a renewed cybersecurity strategy from the Commission this fall, to move forward with the most important topics," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokespeople quoted Maasikas as saying.
The Once-Only principle is to ensure that information is supplied to public administrations only once, regardless of the company's country of origin, according to a Commission press release.
The General Affairs Council approved the council's 18-month program, also known as the Trio program, prepared by the incoming Estonia, Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies of the Council of the EU, which will ensure the continuity of the council's work. The Trio program includes matters such as digital services, energy union and climate policy, activities to support economic growth, social dimension, internal security and stable neighborhood policy as well as enlargement.
According to Maasikas, as one of the authors of the program, Estonia has made sure that all key bills and topics that must be worked on in depth during the next 18 months are included in the program. "Migration, security issues and economic growth will remain the main priorities of the EU over the coming years," said the deputy minister. "E-services, e-governance and different e-solutions which are closely linked to economic growth and the safety of everyday life have a major role in all of these areas."
The focus of the General Affairs Council was on the European Council taking place on Thursday, which will focus on topics including migration, defense and security policy, employment, economic growth and competitiveness, external relations and a digital Europe.
Following the General Affairs Council, the council in an EU27 format discussed the procedure to decide on the relocation of the two EU agencies currently based in the U.K.
While in Luxembourg, Maasikas met with First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans in the margins of the council in order to discuss the rule of law and interinstitutional cooperation.
He also met with Baroness Anelay, the British Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, as well as Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.
Editor: Aili Vahtla