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Kersti Kaljulaid is an Estonian politician who is the fifth and current President of Estonia, in office since 10 October 2016. She is the first female head of state of Estonia since the country declared independence in 1918, as well as the youngest ever Estonian president, aged 46.
In a couple of weeks, Estonia will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in history.
We do so with great determination and pride but also with a healthy dose of pragmatism. We know that there are limits to what the presidency can achieve in only six months. And we also know that tackling some of the challenges that the EU faces, including migration and the departure of one member state, will not be easy.
For the next six months, our guiding principle will be that of the Bratislava and Rome declarations – delivering concrete benefits for our citizens. We aim at a European Union that is innovative, competitive, prosperous and secure. We are determined to keep Europe safe but also open to the outside world, including its immediate neighbourhood. And, of course, being Estonia, we would like to promote the development a Digital Single Market and to advance digital aspects in all policy areas.
While we seek to move forward with a number of technical dossiers, our overarching political goal is to try to stem the tide of pessimism that has prevailed in the EU in recent years. We would like our presidency to be remembered as the period when the ice started to melt, when we began to take a more positive view of the EU. The odds are in our favour: our economies are growing again, support for the EU has risen in all member states and we adopted the Bratislava and Rome declarations setting out the direction that our Union will take in the years to come.