The Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, which ran from July 1-Dec. 31 last year, was organized for a total cost of €68.1 million, coming in €10.7 million under the initial budget.
"We can say today that the organization of the EU presidency cost €68.1 million, and €10.7 million was saved compared with the initial budget," Piret Lilleväli, head of the Estonian EU presidency organizing team, said in a press release.
The planned budget of the presidency for 2014-2019 was €74.8 million, not including an additional €4 million for the organization of a summit. Lilleväli said that significant savings were achieved bymoving the presidency forward by half a year, as a result of which long-term assignments were shortened. Money was also saved on the organization of events, as it was also possible to raise €1.5 million from sponsors.
Co-funding raised from EU institutions totaling €4.9 million also allowed for the organization of additional events and reduction of expenses. More than 50 events organized in Estonia in connection to the EU presidency, including 32 conferences, were majority or even entirely financed by EU institutions.
Approximately 27,000 foreign visitors, including 1,000 journalists, attended events linked to the Estonian EU presidency in the second half of 2017. Visitors who came to Estonia spent an estimated €7.3 million on the consumption of goods and services while in the country.
Editor: Aili Vahtla