On Tuesday 16 January the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas travelled to Strasbourg to review the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union with the Members of the European Parliament.
During the second half of 2017, the Estonian EU Presidency worked with 377 different initiatives in total, organised 275 events in Tallinn, chaired more than 1,200 working groups in Brussels and held 31 Council meetings. The major event of the Estonian Presidency was the Tallinn Digital Summit held in September, where EU leaders gathered to discuss how to ensure Europe’s competitiveness in today's era of rapid and game-changing technological progress.
Reflecting on the presidency, Ratas said: "We hope that Europe is more united, stronger and safer than it was six months ago. Now we need to create new opportunities for Europe, together with the creation of a digital and energy single market. It is also necessary to set up priorities for the next multi-annual budget, which takes into accountolicies such as science and agriculture, but which also reponds to the main concerns of citizens such as migration and safety. Therefore, the main objective of the budget must be to increase the competitiveness of the European economy, improve communities and deepen and strengthen the Digital Single Market."
"The Estonian EU Presidency has undoubtedly left a digital footprint in Europe. In order to ensure the growth of the digital economy, it is now very important to move forward with the free movement of non-personalised data, based on cloud data processing, high data analysis and artificial intelligence."
"The success of our presidency was certainly also in the form of agreements in defence cooperation, free movement of data, migration crisis solutions, social protection and the implementation of the Paris climate agreement," he concluded.
The EU Presidency has now moved to Bulgaria from 1 January to 30 June 2018. During the next 6 months, the presidency will focus on four key areas: future of Europe and young people, Western Balkans, security and stability and digital economy. You can check out the official website of the Bulgarian EU Presidency for further details on their priorities.