Estonia held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2017, followed by Bulgaria. Under the leadership of ALDE Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, 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.
Among its successes, the Estonian EU Presidency made a digital impression on Europe, made Europe safer and more united and reached accords to implement the Paris Agreement. You can take a look at some of the results in this infographic.
Commenting on the achievements, Ratas said: "Today, the EU is more united and better prepared to tackle both digital and climate change. There was significant progress made on digital aspects, for example, on agreements on the free movement of data, the development of the 5G network, and the single digital gateway to develop eGovernment on the EU level. I believe the EU is more united after the increased defence cooperation and adopting the cybersecurity strategy. I am also very happy that within the past 6 months the EU has agreed on all of the aspects of how to tackle climate change based on Paris climate agreement targets.”
Although the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU is coming to an end, the cultural programme will continue during the centenary programme of the Republic of Estonia.
The EU Presidency moves now 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.