EU Council presidency: Estonia is the ideal honest broker
Estonia is a small country that is unburdened with specific national interests, making it the ideal honest broker, writes Tunne Kelam.
Tunne Kelam | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
There is an old saying that a person will be remembered by two characteristics - the problems they have solved and the problems they have created.
A successful Council presidency depends first and foremost on Estonia's ability to unite 27 governments - with their different national and geographic preferences - under the umbrella of the EU's common interests.
The Council has traditionally been the EU's bottleneck in carrying test for Estonian politicians, and even more so for the capabilities and quality of its civil servants corps. European citizens' priorities are security and stability.
This means creating momentum to establish a united border guard system out the Commission's and Parliament's initiatives. A small member state that is not burdened by specific national interests could have more chances to become an effective and honest broker.
This presidency will be a litmus test and overcoming hesitations and short-term calculations when it comes to the EU's principled stand on evaluating Russia's aggressive strategy. New dynamics in neighbourhood policies and effective progress in advancing the digital market as well as the single energy market are to be expected.
EU citizens and SMEs also await effective moves in the field of deregulation.
The Council needs to actively support the Commission's deregulation initiative, which means restoring respect to subsidiarity principle.