The preliminary results of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union as of 21 December 2017

During the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, we worked with a total of 377 drafts, including legislative initiatives, strategies and communications, Estonia also brought new topics to the agenda.

A total of 31 Council meetings took place in Brussels and Luxembourg, and another 10 informal ministerial meetings took place in Tallinn. A further 10 high-level conferences and 226 expert-level meetings were also held.

Of the summits that took place during the Estonian Presidency, the Tallinn Digital Summit, the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels and the African Union - EU Summit in Cote d'Ivoire deserve to be highlighted.

The ambassadors of Coreper I met 26 times, while Coreper II meetings (including Article 50 meetings) were held 30 times. Trilogues were held 137 times.

During the Estonian Presidency, we agreed on 38 general approaches (a common position of the member states in the Council) and concluded 38 political agreements with the European Parliament. A total of 36 political conclusions were approved in the Council of Ministers.

Below is the initial overview of the main achievements and results. A more detailed overview of the agreements and results will be presented to the Government, the Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu) and to the public in the end of January 2018 the latest.

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Regulations, directives, initiatives Result Content
An Open and Innovative European Economy
Services package (European services e-card; services notification procedure; proportionality test) Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The proposed measures aim to make it easier for service providers to navigate administrative formalities, and to help member states identify overly burdensome or outdated requirements on professionals operating domestically or across borders.
EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement Text agreed, finalisation will take place during the Bulgarian Presidency The biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union, opens up the Japanese market for EU food and agriculture products as well as services and public procurements. EU exports to Japan can increase by as much as 32%. 
EU Association Agreement with Chile Mandate agreed and negotiations started Modern association agreement will cover a broad range of issues, such as trade, investments, social issues, digital policy, decent employment, education and space. 
Free Trade Agreements with New Zealand and Australia (mandate for starting negotiations) Over to the Bulgarian Presidency For the EU, the agreements could potentially generate a significant addition to the GDP (€4.9 billion) in the long term, increasing economic welfare by €4.8 billion.
Trade Defence Instruments Provisional political agreement with EP Ensures that fair competition, without distortions, is maintained between domestic and foreign producers.
Anti-dumping regulation The act enters into force on 20 Dec Maintains the EU's capacity to protect its producers against unfair trade practices.
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) 2.0 Political agreement with EP Extending EFSI to the year 2020 and increasing the target to mobilise up to 500 billion euros for investments, to support SMEs, and other investment projects in the EU.
Risk reduction measures (RRM) package Political agreement in two files; the rest of package over to the Bulgarian Presidency The RRM package aims to further reduce the risks in the banking sector in order to complete the banking union.
Revision of anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) Provisional political agreement with EP The aim is to increase transparency and improve cooperation between member states on prevention of the use of the financial system for purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing.
Mid-term review of capital markets union (CMU) action plan Council conclusions An action plan for improving the financing of the economy through more efficient market-based financing instruments.
Modernising VAT for cross-border e-commerce Political agreement Businesses can pay VAT on their cross-border sales in their own country using a one-stop shop. A level- playing field for EU and third country e-commerce enterprises thanks to removing the VAT exemption for small purchases from third countries.
VAT rates for e-books and e-publications Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Gives the possibility for member states to use reduced VAT rates for e-books and e-publications.
EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for taxation matters Council conclusions The aim of the EU blacklist of tax havens is to prevent tax fraud and tax evasion so that no country remains on the list in the future and good tax governance becomes the new norm.
Taxation of the digital economy Council conclusions International tax rules need to be updated to take developments in the digital economy into account, the concept of a virtual permanent establishment should also be explored.
Definitive VAT system Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Change the current VAT system by taxing the sale of goods from one EU country to another in the same way as goods are sold within individual member states, thereby charging VAT on cross-border trade between businesses.
Mandatory disclosure rules for tax planning intermediaries Over to the Bulgarian Presidency New transparency rules for intermediaries will oblige advisers and intermediaries to notify member states authorities about cross-border techniques they sell that may help their clients avoid tax.
Electricity market design of the clean energy package:
Electricity regulation Agreed at the Council of the European Union Sets the fundamental principles for well-functioning electricity markets that empower consumers and facilitate the integration of renewables.
Electricity risk preparedness regulation Agreed at the Council of the European Union Ensures that member states put appropriate tools in place to prevent, prepare for, and manage electricity crisis situations.
Electricity directive Agreed at the Council of the European Union Establishes rules for the generation, transmission, distribution, storage and supply of electricity, together with consumer protection provisions.
European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Establishes the European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, which assists national regulatory authorities and coordinates their actions.
 
Type-Approval Regulation Provisional political agreement with EP Establishes the requirements for the type-approval and market surveillance of certain vehicles and their components to achieve common environmental and safety objectives and facilitate the free movement of motor vehicles and trailers on the internal market.
Progress of TEN-T and CEF Transport Council conclusions Presents EU transport ministers' opinions on the future investment needs of EU transport infrastructure as well as its priorities.
Synergies and simplification for cohesion policy post-2020 Council conclusions A common European set of core rules irrespective of the management mode should be considered for post- 2020, rules for beneficiaries should be further simplified.
Communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 'The Future of Food and Farming' Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Proposes a number of changes to CAP post-2020, focusing primarily on making it simpler and ensuring the best value for money.
Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 Council conclusions Conclusions present increasing the impact of European research and innovation and key principles in preparing the ninth Framework Programme. The communication will be published in December.
EU budget for 2018 Political agreement with EP The main priorities of the 2018 financial year are to tackle migration and security, and to boost innovation, growth and employment in Europe.
Omnibus regulation:
Omnibus regulation (EU financial regulation and related sectoral regulations) Provisional political agreement with EP The aim is to simplify the use of EU funds for beneficiaries and increase flexibility in the budget.
Agricultural provisions of the omnibus regulation Political agreement with EP The aim is to simplify the reformed Common Agricultural Policy in light of the experience acquired through its implementation, and offer member states additional leeway to act in line with specific national or regional needs. 
 
Regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) Political agreement with EP The EPPO will be in charge of investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of offences against the Union's financial interests. Set up by 2020.
A Safe and Secure Europe
Entry/Exit System Political agreement with EP EES will register all third-country nationals who enter and leave the EU on a Schengen visa.
EIB External Lending Mandate (ELM) Political agreement with EP Renewed EIB External Lending Mandate provides opportunity to finance projects related to the first cause of migration outside of EU up to 32.3 billion euros.
European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Provisional political agreement with EP on key political issues ETIAS will pre-register all third-country nationals travelling to the EU without a visa before their arrival in the EU.
Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) Agreed at the Council of the European Union The main information system for police to secure the Schengen area will be updated.
European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) Agreed at the Council of the European Union An efficient exchange of information on the criminal convictions of third-country nationals.
The eu-LISA regulation Agreed at the Council of the European Union The mandate of the agency operating large-scale EU internal security IT systems was renewed and strengthened.
Interoperability roadmap Council conclusions Initiative to improve the interoperability of various EU internal security databases for better and faster information exchange between member states authorities.
Countering money laundering through criminal law Over to the Bulgarian Presidency To ensure that crimes related to money laundering are prosecuted in the European Union on the basis of uniform principles.
Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders Agreed at the Council of the European Union The effective freezing and confiscation of assets (wherever they are located in the EU) obtained through criminal activity is an important measure to combat the financing of crime.
EU Blue Card Directive Agreed at the Council of the European Union The EU Blue Card Scheme, as it is also known, will be modernised to unify the conditions of entry to the EU for highly skilled third-country nationals.
Development of a common understanding of the internal security situation of Ukraine and its possible impacts on the internal security of the EU Council conclusions One of the aims of the Estonian Presidency was to draw attention to the internal security implications of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Fight against terrorism and enhancing the EU’s rapid reaction capacity Council conclusions Our priority in the fight against terrorism was to reinforce the EU's Atlas Network and its rapid reaction forces. We also implemented Council conclusion on parts of the Comminion's Anti-terrorism Package reinforcing EU action in this field.
Common European Asylum System Reform Package:
I Common European Asylum System Reform Package / Dublin Regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The cornerstone of the EU Common Asylum System - the Dublin regulation, will be updated to make the system more crisis-resilient as a response to the migration crisis. The compromise was also introduced in Coreper.
I Common European Asylum System Reform Package / European Union Agency for Asylum regulation Provisional partial Political agreement with EP The functions and core duties of the European Union Agency for Asylum will be updated.
I Common European Asylum System Reform Package / Eurodac regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The main database for asylum seekers fingerprints will be updated and law enforcement will be granted access.
II Common European Asylum System Reform Package / Qualification Directive Partially agreed at the Council of the European Union The revised Qualification Directive clarifies the grounds for granting international protection and therefore will make asylum decisions more robust.
II Common European Asylum System Reform Package / Asylum Procedures Regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The revised Asylum Procedures Directive aims at fairer, quicker, and better quality asylum decisions.
II Common European Asylum System Reform Package / EU Resettlement Framework Partially agreed at the Council of the European Union A new framework for resettlement will create common rules for resettlement to offer legal pathways for refugees to the EU.
II Common European Asylum System Reform Package / Reception Conditions Regulation Partially agreed at the Council of the European Union The revised Reception Conditions Directive ensures that there are humane material reception conditions for asylum seekers across the EU.
 
Central Mediterranean route Action Plan Agreed at the Council of the European Union An action plan was put in place and rapidly implemented in response to the urgent migration situation on the Central Mediterranean route.
Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on 24 November 2017 Joint declaration EU leaders and representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus signed a declaration setting out shared goals. Specific projects in the fields of economy, connections, education and digital services will improve the lives of millions of people and stabilise our neighbourhood.
African Union - EU Summit in Cote d'Ivoire, 29-30 November 2017 Joint declaration The joint declaration outlined common priorities in four strategic areas: economic opportunities for youth; peace and security; mobility and migration; and cooperation on governance.
Digitalisation for development Council conclusions The Council conclusions call for mainstreaming digitalisation into EU development policy and identifies four priority areas: digital infrastructure, promoting e-governance and digital skills, strengthening the digital economy, and fostering startup ecosystems including funding opportunities for micro, small and medium sized enterprises.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Member states agreed to establish a dedicated working group for surveying the progress of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the EU.
Athena mechanism, financing of common costs relating to EU military operations Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The EU military operations will have a broader set of deployment costs financed jointly by the member states.
European Defence Industrial Development Programme Agreed at the Council of the European Union The agreed program will allow member states to develop their defence industries and capabilities, using a dedicated financing mechanism.
Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) Agreed at the Council of the European Union For the first time, the EU set the goal of increasing defence spending and boosting the military capabilities of member states through multiple joint projects.
Countering hybrid threats and fostering the resilience of the EU and its member states Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Member states agreed to launch a hybrid risk survey for rising awareness and fostering resilience against hybrid threats. 
A Digital Europe and the Free Movement of Data
The Tallinn Digital Summit, 29 September 2017 Conclusions of the Prime Minister of Estonia  Summit discussions considered a longer timeframe (up to 2025) and focused on the essential topics of building a digital future for Europe: trust, security, eGovernment, industry, society, and the economy. The Prime Minister of Estonia's conclusions were discussed further at the European Council meeting in October.
Regulation on the free movement of non-personal data Member state agreement for starting negotiations with EP The regulation would end unjustified data localisation requirements and establish a clear framework for non-personal data to move across borders in the EU.
EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment On 6 October 2017, the European ministers (including all EU member states and EFTA countries) responsible for eGovernment signed a joint eGovernment declaration. A roadmap for the next steps in eGovernment development over the next five years has been agreed on, providing direction at both the national and EU levels.
Single digital gateway regulation Agreed at the Council of the European Union Any procedure currently available online for domestic users will be accessible, through a single digital entry point, to users from other member states. A total of 13 key administrative procedures will have to be made available online (incl. requests for a birth certificate, to register a car, start a business, or to register for social security benefits).
European Electronic Communications Code Agreed at the Council of the European Union New rules for the electronic communications sector that will prepare Europe for the 5G era by promoting investment, competition, consumer protection, and the development of new services. On 18 July, EU ministers signed a 5G declaration 'Making 5G a success for Europe' confirming their willingness to position Europe as the global market leader for 5G.
Regulation establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) Agreed at the Council of the European Union The main goal of BEREC is to ensure the consistent implementation of telecom rules across the EU and provides technical expertise to national regulators and EU institutions.
Digitalisation of transport Council conclusions Underlines the benefits of digital technologies to eliminate the obstacles to achieve a seamless and more effective multimodal transport system in Europe. Refers to the free movement of data as a 'fifth freedom' of the European Union.
E-commerce package:
Geo-blocking regulation  Political agreement with EP The regulation will remove barriers to e-commerce by ending the discriminatory practice preventing online customers from accessing and purchasing products or services from a website based in another member state.
Parcel delivery regulation Provisional political agreement with EP The aim is to increase price transparency and regulatory oversight of cross-border parcel delivery services so that consumers and retailers can benefit from affordable deliveries and convenient return options across the EU.
Copyright reform:
Directive on copyright in the digital single market Over to the Bulgarian Presidency To facilitate cross-border access to a wider variety of digital content protected by copyright while ensuring the functioning of a fair market in terms of copyright.
Regulation on broadcasting organisations (CabSat) Member state agreement for starting negotiations with EP Provides for the wider dissemination of television and radio programmes originating in other member states for the benefit of users across the EU.
Audiovisual Media Services Directive Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The aim is to create a clearer legal space for the development and distribution of audiovisual media services in the EU single market.
Contract law package:
Digital content directive Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Lays down certain requirements concerning contracts for the supply of digital content to consumers.
Distance sales of goods directive (now sales of goods) Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Eliminates decisive contract law related barriers hindering cross-border trade.
Cybersecurity:
Cybersecurity strategy Council Conclusions The conclusions call for the strengthening of European cybersecurity and enhancing cyber resilience across the EU. The Council also backs the plan to set up a world-class European cybersecurity certification framework to increase trust in digital solutions.
The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency The aim is to reform ENISA into a stronger EU cybersecurity agency. New tasks and resources will be given to the Agency in order to reflect the new reality and needs of cybersecurity.
 
The ePrivacy regulation Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Ensures a high level of protection for private lives, communications and personal data in the electronic communications sector. 
An Inclusive and Sustainable Europe
Directive on accessibility requirements for products and services Agreed at the Council of the European Union Helps to make many everyday products and services accessible to people with a disability. Removes and prevents barriers for the free movement of accessible products and services.
Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Allows parents and people with care responsibilities to better reconcile their work and care duties by setting up minimum requirements for parental leave, paternity leave, carers' leave and the right to flexible working arrangements.
Europass Provisional political agreement with EP Web-based tool and relevant available information to help people better communicate and present skills and qualifications.
European Solidarity Corps Agreed at the Council of the European Union Offers young people the opportunity to volunteer or work in beneficial projects across Europe.
Coordination of social security systems (family and long-term care benefits) Partially agreed at the Council of the European Union (unemployment benefits left to the Bulgarian Presidency) Rules that guarantee that people do not lose their social security protection when moving to another member state.
Posting of workers Agreed at the Council of the European Union A clear framework to guarantee fair competition and respect for posted workers' rights so that businesses and workers can take full advantage of internal market opportunities.
Future of work Council conclusions Conclusions invite the taking into account of the changing and new forms of employment when developing policies. It’s important to ensure a high level of social protection to all forms of employment and to encourage employers and employees to invest in skills development.
Health in the Digital Society (eHealth) Council conclusions Conclusions encourage the free movement of health data in the EU in order to accelerate digital innovation in healthcare.
Smart youth work Council conclusions Conclusions mark digital innovation in youth work and youth policy that help to better reach and engage with young people.
Mobility package (market and social pillar) Over to the Bulgarian Presidency Establishes a set of measures to ensure a fair and competitive internal market for road transport.
Waste package Provisional political agreement with EP Sets clear targets for the reduction of waste and establishes an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling.
EU emissions trading system Political agreement with EP Sets a clear methodology of how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% for 2030 in energy intensive industries.
Effort sharing regulation Provisional political agreement with EP It sets binding national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for each member state, collectively amounting to a 30% cut in emissions by 2030 (from a 2005 baseline).
Land-use, land use-change and forestry regulation (LULUCF) Provisional political agreement with EP Ensures that the accounted emissions from land-use and forestry are entirely compensated by an equivalent removal of CO₂ from the atmosphere through action in the sector.
CE marking fertilising products Member state agreement for starting negotiations with EP Clearer standards and requirements for fertilising products, ensuring high safety and environmental protection standards.
Renewable energy directive Agreed at the Council of the European Union Establishes an overall policy for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU, while taking into account the 2030 perspective.
Energy Union governance regulation Agreed at the Council of the European Union Establishes a governance mechanism to implement strategies to meet the objectives of the Energy Union and to ensure the timeliness, accuracy and comparability of reporting by member states.
Energy performance of buildings directive (the Clean Energy package) Provisional political agreement with EP Aims to reduce the energy demand associated with the typical use of buildings.
Preliminary Results.pdf(PDF, 62.52 KB)