Estonia hosts the EU presidency in the usual casual style

The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European union is now well under way, and so far there have been no major glitches. ERR News went along to Tallinn Creative Hub on Thursday, to the Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to see how things are coming along.

On a day that the EUcommission pledged a €35 million support package for Italy, to help with the migrant crisis, along with€1 million andincreasedsupportfor North Africa and Libya, we look behind the scenes of the event to see how Estonia comes across as host - writes

Whilst theministers mingled before their informaldiscussionson Thursday, the now infamousdelivery robot meandered around the space; a near silent reminder of the Estonian optimism andinnocentpig-headedness that drives this country’s innovation: we have game-changing ideas and we’re not going to let them forget it.

Down in the basement sit both the local and world media, acomfortablestone’ s throwfrom the conveniences, and conveniently next to thepress conference space illuminated with blue uplighters.Birdsong fills the air, carried on anetworkofspeakers, and flickering neon ‘e-Estonia’signs are a further reminder of our far-reaching ambition.Thevibe in here decidedlymutedtoday, the feeling akin to midmorning at a hotel lobby.

The catering for both ministers and press looks to be on a par: for press situated near the extraworkingspace, where the savvyare poised to pounce when the silverware arrives. The food is good. A good quality, simple interpretation of everydayEstonianfare arrives in abundance, remaininglargely untouched;a sad juxtaposition against the topics of human tragedy anddesperationbeing discussed not more than a few flights of stairs away, it could perhaps be said.

Despite the high profile nature of the meeting, there’s a wonderfully Estonian take on things, an unpretentious, laid-back feeling. It’s one of the admirable things about Estonia,for a country that likes to be seen to take itselfseriously it doesn’t take itself too seriously at all.

The Police and security are a credit to theethosof the event: polite, professional,friendlyyetthorough. Too many of these types of eventsin countries like the UK and US can be an excuse for the security services to flex their ever weakening muscles, giving rise to arrogant and unpleasant behaviour in the name of security. We are showing them that it doesn’t need to be that way, it’s a fact we should be very proud of, even if it’s just a detail.

This presidency is still in its infancy, yet shows signs of great promise. There is an interest in Estonia, our ideas and our development. There is also the distinct feeling coming from those travelling in from other EU member states that Estonia is not only the one to watch, but the one to learn from. We’re seeing more action with thosewordsfrom across the EU, more decisiveness than just a few monthsearlier, and a definite pulling together.TheEU project may have taken a few nastyknocksrecently –from Greece,the migrant crisis and in particular, Brexit –but there seems to bea stronger determination than ever to make thingswork, and it’s about time too.

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