Ratas: The future of Europe is digital and Estonia’s contribution to it is essential

Jun 28
Created: 28 June 2017

At the European Council, Prime Minster Jüri Ratas emphasised to his colleagues from the European Union that all global opportunities of digitalisation had to be used for boosting the economic growth and increasing the welfare of people.

“Digital issues will also be a prevailing topic during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will start in only eight days. Therefore, I am happy that my European colleagues are aware of its importance, and are ready to move purposefully on with the issues of the digital single market,” Prime Minister Ratas said, and added that the discussion would continue at the European Union Digital Summit held in Tallinn on 29 September. 

This European Council focused particularly on the implementation of the agreements the European leaders had made in Bratislava and Rome. In order to strengthen the global reach of Europe, and at the same time enhance Europe’s security and defence in today’s complicated global situation, the European Council agreed on the need to launch the permanent structured co-operation (PESCO) in defence and strengthen the EU’s rapid reaction capability.

The EU leaders gave unanimous assurance that trans-Atlantic relations and the cooperation between the EU and NATO were of key importance to general security in the future, enabling to react to changing security threats, including hybrid, cyber and terrorist threats. It was also agreed that the fight against terrorism, including against the glorification of terrorism in digital channels, should be improved.

The European leaders also agreed on extending the sanctions against Russia, because the Russian Federation had not met the obligations it assumed in the Minsk Agreements, and has continued to destabilise Ukraine. The European Council found that progress had been made in resolving the migration crisis, and it was decided to continue with discussions on how to manage the crisis.

According to the Prime Minister, the European Council confirmed the commitment taken by the Member States to implement the Paris Climate Agreement rapidly and to the full extent, and to lead the global fight against climate change.

“The Paris Agreement will remain the corner stone of the fight against climate change, and it has to be implemented. The agreement is a key element in modernising the industry and economy of Europe,” Prime Minister Ratas explained.