Europe needs unity to be strong, prosperous and to achieve the development we all need, said Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU Lilyana Pavlova to the participants of the COSAC Chairpersons’ meeting. This meeting is the first event within the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Minister Pavlova emphasised that the slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency, United We Stand Strong, was the message that Bulgaria wanted to send to all EU member states. In her words, it has been endorsed across Europe and acknowledged by EU leaders in the fast few days.
In a short video, the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU presented the priorities of the presidency, which was launched only a few days ago. They are four and we will be actively working on them in the next months, said Lilyana Pavlova. In her words, these priorities allow flexibility, call for a high-quality debate, balance, compromise, consensus, and some of them are quite challenging.
An important part of the debate will be on the future of Europe and young people because in May we are expecting the draft of the multi-annual financial framework, emphasised Minister Pavlova. The second priority during the Bulgarian Presidency is security and stability in Europe. This topic is important because we need to work out how to ensure more efficient control at the external borders and make security systems work more effectively, she said. One of the most difficult debates will take place at the JHA Council meeting in Sofia, but we hope that the time has come for EU leaders to reach a consensus, added the Minister.
Lilyana Pavlova also mentioned the other two priorities: the EU prospect for the Western Balkan states, and digital economy and skills and the digital market.
The priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency were supported by over 20 parliamentarians from EU member states and applicant countries, which participated in the discussion. There were questions to Minister Lilyana Pavlova, who emphasised that working to implement the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency, it would be important to keep the balance and protect the interests of all countries.