The final Program with the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency was approved at today’s session of the Council of Ministers. It stipulates the main messages and the specific topics on which our country will work in the first six months of 2018.
There will be four main priorities during the time of the Bulgarian Presidency: the future of Europe and the young people – economic growth and social cohesion; European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans; security and stability in a strong and united Europe; digital economy and skills of the future.
On the first priority, our country will regard leading the Multiannual Financial Framework beyond 2020, the Cohesion Policy beyond 2020, the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Economic and Monetary Union, the sustainable and future oriented environment, the culture as a strategic resource for the better future of the EU, as well as young people who take a central place in the debate on the future of Europe.
On the second priority, the Presidency will work for presenting a tangible European perspective for all countries from the Western Balkans, whereby the deepening of regional cooperation and the development of good neighborly relations would be of particular importance to us.
On the third priority we will focus our efforts towards enhancing EU citizens’ security, strengthening border controls and more efficient management of the migration processes. The main topics on this priority include: migration, effective, fast and fair justice, energy, the EU as a strong global player on the international scene and a sustainable integrated approach for the Danube and the Black Sea region.
On the fourth priority, we will set the emphasis on competitiveness, digital single market, encouraging entrepreneurship and social innovation, as well as the future of labor in a digital and fairer Europe.
The Bulgarian Presidency will be the “Citizens’ Presidency” and a go-between who will look for a balance and consensus on topics that are important to the European citizens. The final goal will be to establish a strong, digital and united Europe.
In addition to the basis of the 18-month Program of the Trio, the Program of the Bulgarian Presidency outlines the main priorities of the work, as well as the specific goals witch it sets within the individual EU Council configurations.
The draft of the priorities of the rotational presidency was approved by the government on 13 July 2017, after which they were subject of public discussion for a period of almost 6 months. All stakeholders were part of the discussions around the country in order to achieve the widest possible consensus on the topics of strategic importance to Bulgaria.
On December 1, 2017, the updated Program with the country’s priorities was passed by the National Assembly. The MPs endorsed the main messages for consensus, competitiveness and cohesion, as well as the motto “United We Stand Strong”. The Parliament encouraged the government to pass balanced resolutions in order to maintain the unity between the EU member states and at the same time do their best to attain concrete results during the Presidency. After the final approval of the priorities by the Government, they have to be reported to the National Assembly once again.