The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) supported the positions of the Government of Estonia regarding the priorities of Estonia's Presidency of the Council of European Union in accordance with the opinion of the specialised committees.
Chairman of the Committee Toomas Vitsut emphasised that besides elaborating the priorities of Estonian presidency in the Parliament and the Government, it was also important to give a clear message to the people of Estonia on what we planned to achieve during the Presidency.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas gave the European Union Affairs Committee an overview of the priorities of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of European Union, where the main keywords were innovative, inclusive and secure Europe with digital dimension.
The Prime Minister explained the Committee that Estonia would continue looking for solutions to the issues Malta raised during its presidency. The head of Government considered it positive if Estonia could move on with the specific issues that were important to Europe. As examples, he mentioned youth employment and digital solutions.
Estonia’s Presidency programme relies on four main pillars – Europe with open and innovative economy, safe and secure Europe, digital Europe and free movement of data, and inclusive and sustainable Europe.
The Cultural Affairs Committee remarked that the issues of vocational education should be promoted among the targets of the Estonian Presidency. The Economic Affairs Committee found that it was important to keep issues connected with flight connections in focus. The Rural Affairs Committee emphasised that the farmers of all Member States should be ensured equal conditions for competition. In the opinion of the National Defence Committee, it was important to hold an exercise similar to NATO crisis management exercise in the EU.
The Government will take into account the feedback of the discussions of the priorities in the specialised committees when drafting the more detailed Presidency programme, which will be submitted to the Government cabinet meeting in May.
On the initiative of the European Union Affairs Committee, it is planned to hold the deliberation of the priorities of Estonia’s presidency of the Council of European Union as a matter of significant national importance in the Riigikogu on 16 May.
The Government will approve the final Presidency programme on 22 June.
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