11 July 2017 The delegation of the European Integration Committee at the meeting of COSAC Chairpersons
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
European Integration Committee Delegation at Meeting of COSAC Chairpersons
Tallinn, Estonia hosted the meeting of the Chairpersons of the Conference Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union - COSAC on 9 and 10 July 2017, under the auspices of the Estonian presidency of the European Union Council.
The meeting focused on the priorities of the Estonian presidency of the European Union Council, European Union’s underused economic potential and the agenda for the 58th COSAC plenary session, to be held on 26 – 28 November 2017.
The meeting was opened by Estonian Parliament Speaker Eiki Nestor and the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut. Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas presented the four priorities of the Estonian presidency of the European Union Council: open and innovative European economy, safe and secure Europe, digital Europe and free flow of data, inclusive and sustainable Europe. He said that the choice of priorities shows that the situation in the European Union has been largely stabilized. In addition to the four priorities, in the course of its presidency Estonia will also focus on other issues such as the UK leaving the EU and the migrant crisis. As far as Brexit is concerned, he said that the objective is to keep the 27 states remaining in the EU united and avoid weakening the EU. Speaking of the migrant crisis he added that this is a problem for the entire EU not just Italy and the states in southern Europe, as was noted at the first ministerial meeting after Estonia assumed the presidency of the EU Council. Other important issues emerged in the discussion such as terrorism, relations with Russia and the environment. The Chairman of the European Integration Committee Nenad Canak stressed how important it is that the enlargement policy include the states of the Western Balkans. Since the enlargement process has slowed down lately, he hoped that it will not slow down even further during the Estonian presidency and that the support for the reforms in the Western Balkan countries would continue. Many of the parliamentarians stressed how important enlargement is underlining the need for continuity during the Estonian presidency in the second half of 2017.
The meeting then focused on the economic situation in the EU and possibilities for further economic development, assistance for new companies and the development and advancement of the existing ones.
Kristin Schreiber, Director of the COSME Programme and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Policy at the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Sten Tamikivi, Vice President of the MOVE Guides company, and Ivo Spigel, co-founder of Perpetuum Mobile, also spoke during the meeting. They noted that support for small enterprises should be one of the EU’s economic priorities.