Estonia will hold its first term as the presidency of the Council of the European Union from July to December 2017.
In the Council of the European Union, 28 Member States make decisions on policies affecting the welfare and security of more than 500 million EU citizens. The role of the presidency is to seek common ground among the different opinions of Member States, and guide the Member States towards agreements - to be an honest broker acting for the common benefit of the whole.
The presidency will also communicate to the media and the international public, the process of reaching common positions as well as the substantive topics and issues discussed. The presidency is responsible for organising the sessions of the Council of the European Union and the duties of working groups – to prepare agendas and chair meetings.The presidency presents and supports agreements between Member States in negotiations with the European Commission and the European Parliament. In the last stage of the negotiations, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament adopt decisions that are binding to all Member States and shape the day-to-day life of 500 million European citizens. Estonia, within the presidency, will have to address some 500 issues.
Estonia will organise more than 2,000 meetings in Brussels, and 230 events in Estonia. Informal meetings in Estonia will provide an opportunity to highlight important issues and contribute to the development of common positions. The Government will approve the policy objectives of the Estonian presidency, i.e. the Presidency Programme, immediately before the start of the presidency. The events held in both Estonia and Brussels will also provide a unique opportunity to promote Estonia as the country holding the EU presidency. More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the presidency events in Estonia over the six-month term of the presidency.
Estonia's Presidency is a high priority for the Ministry of Rural Affairs. This means that Estonia will be responsible for defining the Council’s positions while taking into account the interests of all Member States in the spirit of neutrality and compromise. Estonia is oriented to carry forward the discussions and reaching for agreements of the attained files during the Presidency. Most important topics for Estonia´s presidency are related to the future and the simplification of the CAP and closely monitoring the market situation. We also wish to draw attention to the protection of soils and we would address the issue by organizing Estonian European Union Presidency High Level Conference: „Soil for food production and ecosystem services“. Estonia would also bring out discussions on Fertilizer Regulation and Medicated Feed Regulation.
The chairmanship of the Presidency is a great way to introduce Estonia and give the officials opportunity to improve themselves. A large number of our experts are involved with our Presidency in the Ministry of Rural Affairs. Around 130 people are leading and organizing working groups, nearly 50 people are directly related to the event organization and 20 people are engaged in their field of coordinating Presidency in general.
Estonia's Presidency will be memorable by the events, which are organized in Estonia. There are total of 15 events, two of which are high-level ministerial events and the rest are expert level events.
Further information about the presidency of the Council of the European Union and its organisation is available at eesistumine.ee. You can also stay up to date on the preparations for the EU presidency through Facebook and Twitter.
Further information is available at the website of the Council Secretariat.