Ratas will discuss climate matters and the next long-term budget with his EU colleagues

12.12.2019 | 12:30

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Stenbock House, 12 December 2019 – Today and tomorrow, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will participate in the meeting of the European Council in Brussels, where the heads of state and government of the European Union will discuss climate change and the next long-term budget of the EU. This will be the first summit chaired by Charles Michel, the new President of the European Council.

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, climate matters and the future long-term budget of the European Union affect the future of all Europeans to a significant extent. “Estonia is steadfast in its support for the EU’s aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Setting goals is not enough, however – we also need to know how and what we are doing to achieve climate neutrality. In addition, it is crucial for the transition to be fair and consider the unique features of the Member States. For Estonia, for example, this means significant changes in the oil shale industry. Everything we decide and do contributes to the bright future and well-being of our children and grandchildren,” said the prime minister.

Ratas highlighted the European Green Deal initiative published yesterday by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, as a crucial strategy for economic growth that will guide the work towards achieving climate neutrality in the next five years. “It is an ambitious vision of Europe that protects its people, economy, and our shared living environment.”

According to the prime minister, the next long-term budget of the EU needs to help Member States to achieve the goal of climate neutrality and therefore, it is very important to avoid cuts in the total volume of the budget. “It is also important for Estonia to maintain the amounts contributed to the cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy, as those are the main sources of investment in combating climate change. We also stand for ensuring equal competition conditions for our farmers,” said the prime minister. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania highlighted this before the European Council in a joint appeal to the heads of state and government of other Member States.

EU27 leaders will begin the first day of the Council with a meeting with David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament. Together, they will discuss the idea of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which would begin next year and last until 2022. Both the European Parliament and the European Commission would be involved in the conference.

After this meeting, the heads of state and government of the EU will discuss climate matters, focusing on ways to achieve the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

In addition, the agenda of the leaders of the Member States includes talks on the European Union’s next long-term budget for 2021–2027. The discussion is based on the so-called negotiation box prepared by Finland, who currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

In terms of foreign relations, the Council will talk about cooperation between the EU and Africa as well as the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, will give an overview to the heads of state and government of the Normandy summit that took place in Paris on 9 December.

The second day of the Council will begin with the Euro Summit, taking place in an inclusive format. EU27 leaders will talk about the European Stability Mechanism, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness, which is a separate budget measure of the euro area to support reforms aiming at economic growth, and strengthening the banking union.

After this, the heads of state and government of the 27 Member States will discuss Brexit and prepare for the negotiations on future relations after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.

Before the Council begins, the meeting of the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark (NB6) will take place. This time, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will chair the meeting.

Schedule of the European Council and additional information:


Government Communication Unit