Good evening. Let me start by thanking Prime Minister Ratas for hosting the Tallinn Digital Summit. It was indeed a very special event about the future of Europe. And many thanks to all the Estonians for your great hospitality and for inspiring Europe with your "digital" spirit.
We held this summit because Europe must use the opportunities created by huge advances, in everything from robotics to artificial intelligence. We need to actively shape our future and manage the risks posed by the digital revolution to our societies and democracies. That is why the leaders focused on how the EU could successfully navigate the opportunities, as well as the risks. We will now work together with Prime Minister Ratas to prepare the conclusions for the October European Council, based on our discussions.
Now, let me make a comment on the last night's dinner. As you know, the leaders had an informal debate on the situation of Europe and on our future work in the European Council. I was mandated to translate this good debate and the visionary speeches we have heard recently, into a concrete work programme. Therefore, I have already started bilateral consultations. In addition to my meeting with Prime Minister Ratas, today I also met the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria, Croatia and the Chancellor of Germany. And during the next two weeks I will consult all Member States.
Based on those consultations, I will present a very concrete working plan with a number of decisions that need to be taken by the leaders in the next year. Something I could call the “Leaders' Agenda 2017/18”. This means further development and enrichment of the programme that I have presented in my Tallinn letter. It will include, inter alia, the launch of the permanent defence cooperation by the end of 2017, a Euro Summit in December to further deepen the Economic and Monetary Union, with a special focus on the completion of the Banking Union, and a Western Balkans' Summit during the Bulgarian presidency in the EU.
Our guiding principles are clear and I hope will not change. First and foremost, I will do everything in my power to keep the unity of the EU. Secondly, I will concentrate on finding real solutions to real problems of our citizens, who are concerned about security, migration or unemployment. And finally, we will all make sure that Europe is making progress.