The organisation of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: a summary of facts

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  • 20/12/2017 15:09

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Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel)
In July and October, 36 events took place in the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), another 6 events were hosted there in November and December (photo: Evgeni Nikolaevski)

The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union began on 1 July 2017 and runs until 31 December 2017, when the baton is passed to Bulgaria. Below are some facts and figures related to the organisation of the Estonian Presidency.

  • The budget planned for 2014-2018 was  €74.9 million, with an additional  €4 million for the Tallinn Digital Summit;
  • At the end of November, 63% of the total budget had been spent;
  • The expected surplus will be at least  €7 million, which will be transferred back to the state budget; 

Budget breakdown

  • Of all the events, the Tallinn Digital Summit was the most expensive, with expenditures below the planned budget (€3.4 million instead of the planned  €4 million);
  • The Estonian Presidency was a large-scale cross-sectoral cooperation project. In total, the Government Office of Estonia had 110 partners, with whom a total of 126 contracts were put into place; 

Partners and contracts

  • In total, 1 300 people were involved with the Estonian Presidency, of whom about 1 000 were working in the public sector beforehand, and who received additional presidency related tasks in addition to their usual responsibilities. A total of 330 people were hired temporarily;


  • Of the personnel, 33% were men and 67% were women;

Gender breakdown

  • There were 100 liaison officers;
  • There were 343 working group chairpersons/vice-chairpersons; 
  • In total, 275 events took place in Tallinn: 1 summit, 10 informal ministerial meetings, 10 high-level conferences, around 20 visits, 226 expert-level meetings and 8 parliamentary dimension events (including 2 parliamentary events that take place next year); 

Events breakdown

  • In total, about 34 000 people visited the events in Tallinn, 27 000 of them were foreign guests, including foreign journalists; 
  • The Tallinn Digital Summit invited the heads of state and government of 27 member states to Estonia, the Summit itself took place with the participation of 25 EU leaders; 
  • In Brussels, a total of 1 228 working group meetings, 31 Council meetings, 56 meetings of the permanent representatives (Coreper) and 137 trilogues took place;

Events in Brussels

  • The official host broadcaster was the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) who produced 2 813 video clips on the basis of the filmed materials. In total, ERR produced 400 hours of television broadcasts, 42 hours of which were live broadcasts. The live streams during the Tallinn Digital Summit were the most viewed, with a total of 94 402 viewers
  • During July and September, the Estonian police clocked 50 000 working hours
  • Out of all the events that took place in Tallinn, 4 ranked as the highest-category events:
  • During the Summit, 800 police officers were working, 250 of them came from outside of Tallinn;
  • In the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), 36 events took place from July to October, and another 6 events in November and December. The rent paid for the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) was EUR 873 500 + VAT;
  • The Estonian Presidency’s website went live on 29 May 2017. Since then it has gotten a little over 420 000 visits and just over a million clicks (1 002 230). Most of the visits have come from Estonia (121 887), followed by Belgium (69 438), Germany (25 983), the United Kingdom (21 995) and France (20 212);

Web statistics

  • Out of a total of 275 events, 18 included a trip outside of Tallinn; 
  • To make Estonia better known, guests were taken to a number of different places across Estonia. For example, the ministers for environment went to see lake Paukjärv. Additionally, they were taken to Kõnnu-Suursoo bog, Oandu hiking trail, to a smoke sauna in Käsmu and to Jägala waterfall;
  • The Ministry of Culture organised many conferences in Tartu, and the European Week of Sport was also opened in Tartu;
  • On the invitation of the Ministry of Defence, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, French Minister for Defence Florence Parly and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the 1st infantry brigade as well as the allies at the Tapa army base. The allies were also paid a visit by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the UK, Boris Johnson; 
  • The ministers for agriculture and fisheries visited Kolga community center, Viru bog and Vihula manor.