Estonia will take over the role of Presidency of the Council of the EU from Malta on 1 July 2017, their first since joining the EU alongside their Baltic neighbours in 2004. Their presidency’s slogan – “Unity through Balance” – shows Estonia intends to fully embrace its role to find agreement among very diverse national interests. As a relatively new Member State that understands the concerns of central and eastern European countries – particularly in terms of loss of competitiveness – and one that has successfully reformed its own economy, Estonia is well-placed to help overcoming the difficult issues facing Europe.
This snapshot explores what we can expect as the tiny Baltic nation prepares to step into the limelight; and what the next presidency, Bulgaria, can expect to inherit.
Arne Koeppel is Head of Research, Stephen Pearson is Senior Director and Stephen Jackson is Director at FTI Consulting in Brussels.