Tallinn, January 14, 2017.

The Estonian Government approved the priorities for presidency of the Council of the European Union. Estonia will focus on developing an innovative, secure, digital and inclusive Europe.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said here that Estonia’s presidency will take place in the times of great challenges for Europe, which means an extraordinary responsibility for us. “We must look for unity among the Member States and the EU must stay decisive,” he said.

“During the presidency, we will have the chance to raise also topics that are important for Estonia, to start discussions of wider impact and to increase the international visibility of Estonia. This is a serious challenge, but I’m sure we will manage thanks to the comprehensive cooperation of politicians and officials.”

Klen Jäärats, the Director for European Union Affairs of Government Office, said that starting from this July Estonia will be leading all legislative work among Member States, but that it is up to the presidency to set its own priorities and specific goals.

“Priorities set by the Government are a political guideline from the Government for defining the programme for the presidency. A final, more detailed programme will be presented in June when Malta’s presidency is drawing to a close, and it will be preceded by wider discussions in the Riigikogu as well as with the general public,” Jäärats explained. The overarching aim of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU is to ensure that the EU remains united and decisive.

Estonia will focus on an open and innovative European economy means developing a business environment, which supports growth and competitiveness, strengthening the fight against terrorism and organised crime, strengthening the internal security as well as the protection of the EU’s external borders, developing cross-border e-commerce and e-services for the benefit of consumers, producers and businesses,  inclusive and sustainable Europe supports equal opportunities for employment, access to services and development of skills. A sustainable Europe cares about and is committed to achieving a cleaner environment.

(Inputs from


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