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Ratas: European Council will give strong start to Estonian presidency

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas at the European Council on Thursday. June 22, 2017.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas at the European Council on Thursday. June 22, 2017. Source: (Government Office)

The meeting of the European Council will constitute the next step in advancing defense cooperation, take stock of the results to date in solving the migrant crisis and give guidelines, among other things, for developing a comprehensive Digital Europe concept, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said ahead of the two-day summit on Thursday.

"The strong support of the Council will enable the Estonian presidency to carry out its priorities concerning information society, the field of defense, and other priorities," Ratas was quoted by spokespeople as saying.

On the topic of information society, Ratas said that the emphasis will be placed on a comprehensive approach to demonstrate that the broader use of information technology does not involve the economy and productivity alone, but rather is a technology important throughout society, evoking great societal changes ranging from ways of working to security.

Prior to the summit, Ratas met with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Ireland's new Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to hear them, in accordance with good practice, about the most critical issues for them in the second half of the year. Ratas congratulated Muscat, from whom he will be taking the baton, on the successful Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU.

The central topic for Ireland was matters related to the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, but also the importance of the common market.

Ratas also met on the sidelines of the summit with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, with whom he discussed defense cooperation and the upcoming Estonian EU presidency.

Topics for the two-day meeting of the European Council include migration, security and defense, the Paris Agreement, Digital Europe as well as the economy.

In addition, Ratas is scheduled to meet on the summit's sidelines with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, with whom defense cooperation will be discussed, in addition to the Estonian presidency.

The topics for the meeting of the Council are migration, security and defense, the Paris climate agreement, Digital Europe, and the economy.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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