On Saturday, 1 July 2017, Estonia takes upon its shoulders the presidency of the council of the European Union – a rotating presidency every member of the EU holds for six months at a time. This means that for the next six months, Estonia will be responsible for defining the council’s positions while taking into account the interests of all member states and remaining neutral at the same time. But what are the country’s priorities and themes during the relatively short presidency? Estonian World explains.

Estonia’s priorities

The majority of the themes to be dealt with by the current presidency originate from the preceding presidency – in Estonia’s case, from Malta’s. However, each country holding the presidency can highlight in their own presidency programme the themes which require more attention.

Estonia’s priorities during its six-month presidency are:

  • An open and innovative European economy – developing a business environment that supports knowledge-based growth and competitiveness
  • A safe and secure Europe – strengthening the fight against terrorism and crime, continuing the work on the migration crises and increasing defence expenditure
  • A digital Europe and the free movement of data – ensuring modern and secure e-communications to be available across Europe
  • An inclusive and sustainable Europe – supporting equal opportunities for high-quality education, employment and development of skills.