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EU: Estonia getting ready to take over at the helm of the EU Council. Economy, security, digital Europe on the agenda


(Brussels) Estonia is about to start, for the first time, its six months at the helm of the European Council. With a population of one million three hundred thousand, in a strip of Europe clinging to Russia, half of which covered by forests, it is one of the most digital, fastest growing, most dynamic countries in Europe. Four are the priorities that the small Baltic Republic has set out for its six months’ presidency: working for an open, innovative economy that can face competitiveness, while supporting entrepreneurship, streamlining the rules and strengthening the single market; making Europe safe and protected within, and a Europe that can bring peace into the world; promoting the digitalisation of Europe, especially the free movement of data; aspiring to a Europe that will be “a champion of inclusiveness and sustainability”, i.e. able to provide equal opportunities to all its citizens and workers, while fully respecting and taking care of the available environmental resources. To do all this, Estonia will have to attend about two thousand meetings, 200 of which organised within the country; 1,300 people are involved in the organisation and implementation of such efforts, with a 75 million euros budget. The philosophy of the organisational machinery that started working in 2012 is “work and investments must bear long-term benefits to our country, not be an effort that is an end in itself”. The Estonian presidency will be officially presented at the plenary meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week.


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