Photo: Mr Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance (European Parliament)
Mr Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance, Mr Biser Petkov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Mr Neno Dimov, Minister for the Environment and Water spoke before three European Parliament committees in the fourth day of Presidency priorities’ presentations before Members of the European Parliament. They spoke about the work Bulgaria will do in the areas of financial and monetary affairs, social and environmental policy before representatives of the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Presentation before ECON
Mr Goranov said: “During the Bulgarian Presidency we will continue the work on deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. For that, we will focus our efforts on several major areas: the completion of the Banking Union, advancing the Capital Markets Union, unfolding debates on the EU fiscal framework when it comes to fiscal rules and the possibility to create a fiscal capacity as we exchange views on the future role of the European Stability Mechanism.”
In the coming months, Bulgaria will:
- Work on strengthening of the Banking Union by deepening and broadening of the roadmap and adding more precise steps for risk reduction and risk sharing. In this context, the Presidency will aim at a compromise on the Risk Reduction Measures proposals within the Council and possible start of the negotiations with the Parliament. Bulgaria will work hard to achieve maximum progress at technical level on the legislative proposal for the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.
- Work on the proposals to set up a Capital Markets Union.
- Aim at maximum progress on the proposal to set up a Pan-European pension product, seek to start discussions on the review of the European System of Financial Supervision and on the proposal for introducing a new prudential regime for investment firms.
- Spare no efforts to achieve a Single European VAT Area with regard to cross-border trade in goods among the Member States and the use of effective tools for integrated VAT management, with enhanced administrative cooperation among Member States' tax administrations to curb VAT fraud. Bulgaria will also work on the Common Corporate Tax Base, and aim to make progress on the forthcoming proposal for taxation of the digital economy.
- Work different aspects of the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes – defensive measures, de-listing process, new criteria in line with international standards.
- Strive to secure a smooth implementation of the 2018 Cycle for economic coordination– the European Semester.
The full statement by Mr Goranov is available here.
Presentation before FEMM
Mr Petkov said: „Bulgaria is taking over the Presidency of the Council at a time when Europe and the European citizens are in great need of increased opportunities for quality employment, social security and confidence in the European project. The expectations placed on the Union are high and we are aware of our responsibility. The employment and social policy priorities we have identified are the expression of this responsibility.“
During its Presidency, Bulgaria will spare no efforts to:
- Achieve progress in the area of the future of work, by finding solutions for productive employment and for sustainable and balanced economic growth.
- Steer the debate on the Future Funding for Social Europe and the opportunities for support from the European Social Fund after the 2014-2020 programming period.
- Promote the concept of early childhood development.
- Guarantee equal rights for persons with disabilities, by achieving significant progress and, if possible, reaching agreement in the trilogue on the European Accessibility Act.
- Strengthen gender equality, increase the efforts to ensure equal economic independence, eliminate gender-based violence and examine the effect of digitalisation on gender equality. More concretely, Bulgaria will monitor the positions of Member States when it comes to the Women on Boards Directive and, should there be any change in the positions of some Member States, make every necessary effort to put the matter forward.
- Hold a ministerial debate on the measures to tackle the gender pay gap following the publication of the eponymous action plan by the Commission.
- Make progress on a series of proposals which are directly linked to improving the working conditions of European citizens, for example on improving the work-life balance for parents and carers.
The full statement by Mr Petkov is available here.
Presentation before ENVI
Mr Dimov said: “Bulgaria occupies one of the first places in Europe in terms of biodiversity. This is why for us the economic development goes hand in hand with the protection of the environment. During its Presidency, Bulgaria will seek to maintain the balance between the two.”
Mr Dimov outlined some of the main priorities which Bulgaria will pursue during its Presidency. In particular, the country will:
- Focus on the transition towards circular economy and eco-innovation. In this context, work on the new plastic strategy put forward by the European Commission this month.
- Steer the debate on the improved air quality and encourage Member States to consider innovative solutions to improve air quality in the name of health and environment protection.
- Work proactively towards the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The full statement of Mr Dimov is available here.
Three more Bulgarian ministers are speaking before the European Parliament on 24 January – Minister Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr Rumen Porodzanov, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry. They will address representatives of the committees for Regional Development (REGI), Development (DEVE) and Fisherires (PECH).
The presentations of the Presidency priorities before the European Parliament committees will finish with Mr Kiril Ananiev, Minister for Health, who will speak before representatives of the ENVI committee on 25 January. The detailed schedule of the ministers’ interventions is available online.