Ratas: Council will give strong start to Estonian presidency

  • 2017-06-25
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The meeting of the European Council will make the next step in advancing defense cooperation, take stock of the results in solving the migrant crisis to date and give guidelines, among other things, for developing a comprehensive concept of Digital Europe, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said ahead of the summit.

"Strong support of the Council will enable the Estonian presidency to carry out its priorities concerning information society, the field of defense, and other priorities," Ratas said according to spokespeople.

On the topic of information society, Ratas said that the emphasis will be put on a comprehensive approach to demonstrate that broader use of information technology does not have to do with the economy and productivity alone, but is a technology important throughout and evoking big societal changes, beginning from the ways of working and ending with security.

Prior to the summit, Ratas met with the Maltese head of government, Joseph Muscat, and Ireland's new prime minister Leo Varadkar to hear them, in accordance with good practice, about the most burning issues for them in the next half-year. Ratas congratulated Muscat, from whom he will be taking the baton, on the successful Maltese presidency.

The central topic with Ireland were matters related to the withdrawal of the UK, but also the importance of the common market.

In addition, Ratas is scheduled to meet on the summit's sidelines with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, with whom defense cooperation will be discussed, in addition to the Estonian presidency.

The topics for the meeting of the Council are migration, security and defense, the Paris climate agreement, Digital Europe, and the economy.