Estonia Commences its Presidency of the European Council

FEDMA Article – Estonia will hold the Presidency of the European Council in the second half of the year 2017 from July to December. Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, stated the priorities of the presidency are an open and innovative European economy and implementation of the digital single market within all European Union member states with free flow of data.

Concretely the Estonian Presidency hopes to take the following actions:

Estonia advocates the implementation of the General Data Protection. “The GDPR will ensure an appropriate balance between the free movement of data and the right to privacy, increasing personal rights while also supporting economic development,” stated Estonia’s Representative to the EU, H.E Ambassador Kaja Tael. The Estonian Presidency will facilitate the EU’s accession to the additional protocol of the Council of Europe convention on data protection (Convention 108).

Estonia wants to move forward with the negotiations on the ePrivacy Regulation. They are aiming for a progress report at the end of the presidency.

They aim to provide fair contract law rules for all: unified and modern European contract law norms would be beneficial for consumers as well as for companies. The directive on digital content will update the European contract law by taking into account the characteristics of the modern shopping environment and the technological development.

The Digital Single Market is inconceivable without the free movement of data within the EU. The Estonian Presidency will devote significant attention to developing the European data economy, including through a joint informal meeting of ministers of telecommunications and competitiveness that will discuss the free movement of data and emerging issues such as data ownership and reuse.

Estonia vows to have an open and competitive digital single market which will pave way for the development of SME’s. European regulations should ensure that European business remain competitive and globally recognised since Europe is the largest exporter of digital services.

Estonia is committed to guarantee every person the ownership of their data despite it being stored and processed by a public or private entity.  Under the work on directive on free movement of data, the presidency will focus on developing cross-border e-commerce and e-services for the benefit of consumers and businesses, ensure that modern and secure electronic communications are available to everyone across Europe as well as creating a favourable environment for new innovative services and advancing cross-border digital public services to facilitate everyday life. These factors will work in accordance with other priorities in having an open and innovative Europe, safe and secure Europe, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe.