Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria set common goals for next 18 months

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Austrian Prime Minister Christian Kern. Source: (Triin Oppi/Government Office)

The prime ministers of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria met in Brussels on Friday to reaffirm the commitment of the three upcoming presidencies of the Council of the EU to job creation, economic growth, security, inclusiveness and social protection, climate change, clean energy and Europe as a strong global actor.

As the duration of each presidency of the Council of the EU is only six months in length, it is customary for three consecutive presidencies to pool their efforts to keep key issues in focus for 18 months. "If every presidency steered Europe in a different direction during their six months at the helm, it would be very difficult to keep Europe strong, decisive and united," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said according to a government press release.

Ratas expressed his satisfaction that, like Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria will prioritize the Digital Single Market and the development of a digital society. "Europe must look boldly to the future and continue discussions begun in Rome," he said. "The Rome Declaration stressed the importance of security, safety and a stable European neighborhood. It also underlined the need for a connected and further developed Single Market, but also the imperative to fearlessly address the opportunities and risks created by rapid technological change."

Uniting the goals of three consecutive EU presidencies serves the purpose of enhancing cooperation between member states. The joint plans of the trio are integrated by the Secretariat of the European Council. The Secretariat, together with Bulgaria and Austria, are among Estonia's closest partners before and during the its EU presidency, which begins on July 1 and will last through the end of 2017.

For more information on the cooperation of the three consecutive presidencies and their joint program, click here.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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