No. 35

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The twelve stars shining

  • Mart Raudsaar

    Mart Raudsaar

    Editor-in-Chief of Riigikogu Toimetised issues 29–40

The overarching theme of this issue is the Presidency of Estonia in the Council of the European Union. Lithuania and Latvia have already had the opportunity to try this role. Their presidencies have been rather successful. So there will probably not be any prejudices towards Estonia as a former Soviet republic. We get the task of leading (and waiting is not a possibility in the current situation) the European Union, as it finds itself in a very difficult situation and faces many challenges.

The article by Paavo Palk in this issue gives an excellent overview of the role of the presidency. He also describes how the role has changed over time and how we could realize the full potential of this role. I think Estonian government officials will agree that, throughout history, the EU Presidency has taken the role of a secretary, charged with administering the whole system, and a negotiator who looks for compromises in controversial topics for the benefit of the European Union. It would be inappropriate to say or do otherwise on the high podium.

On the other hand, it does not mean that Estonia cannot have a positive impact on Europe. We cannot be patronizing and tell other Member States what to do. However, we can share our best practices and our experience in the IT field in the context of priorities of the Presidency. How to digitalise European corridors? Margus Mägi and Valdek Laur from the EU Secretariat of the Government Office discuss this question.

Even if we remain modest, the Presidency in the Council of the European Union will still definitely provide Estonia with many opportunities to win friends and influence important people. We can show them local sights. One of them is, undoubtedly, the historical Expressionist Session Hall of the Riigikogu. In this issue of Riigikogu Toimetised, the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor discusses what the Riigikogu as the parliament can and should do during the presidency period.

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