Two Bulgarian Ministers presented the Presidency's priorities to the European Parliament's internal market and transport committees


Photo: European Parliament

The presentation of the Bulgarian Presidency's priorities to members of the European Parliament continued on Tuesday morning.

Mr Emil Karanikolov, Minister for the Economy, and Mr Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister for Transport, Information and Technology and Communications, spoke before representatives of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee. Mr Moskovski made a second appearance on the morning of 23 January, presenting the Presidency's plans in the area of transport, to the Parliament's Transport and Tourism (TRAN) committee.

Presentations to IMCO

Mr Karanikolov said: 'The internal market is one of the Presidency's fundamental priorities at this important moment. Our objective is to strengthen the trust of citizens and businesses. European citizens expect action from us. As a Presidency, we will work as an honest mediator in finding rational solutions for Europe.'

To achieve this, the Presidency will strive to make progress on several legislative proposals aimed at strengthening the internal market, the Minister said:

  • The Presidency will give priority to the files within the service package by aiming for an agreement with the European Parliament on the proposals for the proportionality check for regulated professions and on the notified procedure. The Presidency will continue to work on the proposals for the electronic service card.
  • Bulgaria stands ready to launch negotiations with the European Parliament on the Single Digital Portal, once the European Parliament is ready with its position.
  • The Presidency stands ready to launch negotiations on the Fertilisers proposal.
  • Bulgaria will pay special attention to the ECN+ proposal by working towards a mandate to launch negotiations with the European Parliament and by successfully carrying out those negotiations.
  • The Presidency will continue with the trilogues on the proposal for delivery contracts of digital content, aiming for an agreement.
  • Bulgaria will also seek to make progress on the two proposals within the Goods Package, thus ensuring that goods on EU markets are even safer.

The full statement by Mr Karanikolov is available here.

Mr Moskovski said: 'Bulgaria takes over the Presidency at  a time when the digital agenda is highly intensive, with regard to both current, outstanding dossiers and the European Commission's new initiatives. We are already working to find common solutions, including on complex dossiers in the digital domain. The motto of our presidency is 'United we stay strong', and I am convinced that - together with the Member States, and in close cooperation with the European Parliament - we can achieve a great deal for a single digital Europe.'

Mr Moskovski said that, in the digital domain, Bulgaria will endeavour to:

  • Complete the negotiations on the reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communications.
  • Make progress on the free flow of the non-personal data file.
  • Achieve a common approach on the Cybersecurity Act.
  • Ensure equal rights for people with disabilities by making progress and, if possible, finalising the negotiations on the European Accessibility Act.
  • Prepare Council conclusions on the topic of artificial intelligence and robotics, which is expected to be covered in the 'Third data package', to be presented by the Commission in May.
  • Promote the EU's digital policies in the Western Balkan countries, helping to guarantee broadband coverage for all.

The full statement by Mr Moskovski is available here.

Presentation to TRAN

Mr Moskovski said: 'The Bulgarian Presidency will seek consensus, competitiveness and cohesion in all policy sectors, including through deepening our cooperation on the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European family. We will strive to achieve real and promising results, in accordance with the principles of transparency and openness to citizens: principles which underpin the EU.'  

With regard to the first Mobility Package, the Presidency will give priority to work on the dossiers on access to the market and to the profession, as well as on the specific legislation on the posting of drivers, hired vehicles and the interoperability of electronic road toll systems. Bulgaria will aim for a common approach on the rules to help improve the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in Europe. To support the development of intermodal transport in Europe, the Presidency has already started looking at the revised common rules for the combined transport of goods. Mr Moskovski also called for greater efforts to establish a modern, secure and integrated transport network in the Balkans.

In the area of aviation, the Presidency will focus its efforts on the Regulation on Safeguarding Competition. Bulgaria's main objective is to create a tool that protects European carriers while stimulating competition. The Presidency will encourage the EU's negotiations with third countries on the conclusion of comprehensive bilateral air transport agreements.

With regard to maritime transport, the Presidency will work on the brand new Directive on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste in order to improve the protection of the marine environment and reduce the administrative burden on businesses. Bulgaria stands ready to start work on the proposal for a One Stop Shop in the maritime sector as soon as it is presented in May 2018. The Presidency will work to finalise the Council Recommendations on requirements and obligations for small craft.

The Presidency will also work to improve the rules on rail passengers' rights, which will help offer passengers better services.

The full statement by Mr Moskovski is available here.

The presentation of the Bulgarian Presidency's priorities to the European Parliament committees will continue throughout the day on 23 January. Bulgarian Ministers are speaking before five more committees – Culture and Education (CULT), Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Foreign Affairs. (AFET).

Together with the address of the Bulgarian Prime Minister to the European Parliament plenary, the hearings form part of the interinstitutional dialogue between the Council and the European Parliament.

The detailed schedule of the ministers’ interventions is available online.

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