Jean-Claude Juncker praised Estonia for its work during its EU council presidency on Tuesday. In a plenary session of the European Parliament discussing its outcome, Juncker was almost gushing in his praise.
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, praised the efforts of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union that began on July 1 and ended on Dec. 31 last year.
"It was one of the best-prepared and most professionally run presidencies I can remember," Juncker said at a discussion of the presidency at the plenary sitting of the European Parliament on Tuesday. "Once again, my long held belief was confirmed: smaller countries really do make for the best presidencies. They are more natural bridge builders, more likely to look for consensus. Estonia proved me right," he added.
Under Estonia's leadership, progress was made in other areas where Europe needed it, and Estonia set a tone for 2018, Juncker said. "Because 2018 must become a year of delivery for a better future," the president added.
"We signed last month a new joint declaration on the European legislative priorities for 2018-2019. This gives all of us a platform to show that Europe can deliver for its citizens when and where it matters, to build a stronger, more united, more democratic union, and this is the approach that the Estonian presidency took throughout the last six months," Juncker said.
"You placed an issue on the agenda, which obviously was worthy of our attention and action: the greater our progression in the digital field, the greater our joint success. Tallinn was the best possible location for organizing the digital summit," he said, adding that with it, Estonia had set a new model for future presidencies.
Giving his remarks a somewhat more jovial spin, the president then went on to address Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center): "Jüri, you've done an excellent job of work. The Commission tried not to run out of breath, because you moved ahead very swiftly. But it was an excellent job of work," Junckers said.
Estonia led the work of the Council of the European Union from July 1 to December 31, 2017. Its successor for the first half of 2018 is Bulgaria.
Editor: Dario Cavegn