“We can say today that the organization of the EU presidency cost 68.1 million euros and 10.7 million euros was saved compared with the initial budget,” Piret Lillevali, head of the Estonian EU presidency organizing team, said in a press release.
The planned budget of the presidency for 2014-2019 was 74.8 million euros, not including an additional 4 million euros for the organization of a summit. Lillevali said that a noticeable saving emerged from moving the presidency to an earlier date, as a result of which long-term assignments abroad were shortened. Money was also saved from the organization of events, while it was also possible to raise 1.5 million euros from sponsors.
It was also possible to organize additional events and reduce the expenses made by Estonia by raising co-funding from EU institutions in the amount of 4.9 million euros. More than 50 events organized in Estonia, including 32 conferences, were for the most part or even completely financed by EU institutions.
Approximately 27,000 foreign visitors, of whom around 1,000 were journalists, attended events linked with the Estonian EU presidency in the second half of 2017. Visitors who came to Estonia spent an estimated 7.3 million euros on the consumption of goods and services.