Estonian EU Council presidency to focus on ensuring a safe and secure Europe

Written by Urmas Paet on 14 July 2017 in Opinion
Opinion

The Estonian Council presidency is set to focus on ensuring a safe and secure Europe, writes Urmas Paet.

Urmas Paet | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual


For Estonia, the Council presidency means great responsibility but also an opportunity to influence the development of the EU in the right direction (read: stronger future together). The key issues during this presidency will be a safe and secure Europe, digital Europe and the free movement of data and, of course, Brexit talks.

As Parliament's rapporteur on the European defence union, I find it particularly important that Estonia stands for a Europe that is able to take care of its own security. 

This is an urgent matter, as Europe's security situation has grown increasingly fragile - primarily as a result of the activities of ISIS and other terrorist groups, Russia's aggressive behaviour, as well as violence and instability in neighbouring countries. 

This means that Europe, in order to defend itself and increase its security, must do more.

In order to achieve this, the member states should work more closely together, have a goal of spending two per cent of their GDP on defence, finance infrastructure in member states at the eastern border and establish a Schengen of defence.

The UK's departure from the EU is off to a bumpy start. No matter how it ends up for the Brits (if it ends at all), the remaining 27 member states must stay united.

 

About the author

Urmas Paet (ALDE, EE) is a member of Parliament's budgets committee

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Manfred Weber: UK still thinks it can cherry pick in Brexit talks
14 September 2017

Parliament's EPP group leader, Manfred Weber, has again accused the UK of cherry picking in the current Brexit talks.

Claude Moraes: Member states must better implement EU security measures
11 September 2017

Senior MEP Claude Moraes has called on member states to urgently implement measures designed to improve safety and security in Europe.

Related Partner Content

What Europe can do to resolve the Qatar crisis
20 July 2017

If Europe is serious about fighting terrorism and extremism, the institutions of the EU need to be more actively engaged in the current situation involving Qatar, argues Richard Burchill.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: The EU must act now
7 April 2016

The EU must apply pressure on Armenia to respect the ceasefire and abandon the illegal occupation of occupied regions of Azerbaijan, says Azay Guliyev.

The need to counter extremist propaganda more effectively
13 December 2016

There are different reasons why people believe in extremist ideologies or join extremist groups, explains Alexander Ritzmann.