General Affairs Council concluded preparations for the March European Council


Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission (left), Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs (middle), Genoveva Chervenakova, Spokesperson of the Bulgarian Presidency. Photo: European Union

The General Affairs Council concluded today preparations for the European Council meeting on 22 March 2018. With Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva as chair, the Council discussed the draft conclusions that leaders are expected to adopt.

Jobs, growth and competitiveness, trade and digital taxation will be some of the key topics that the heads of state or government of the EU member states are to look at later this week. External relations are also a topic on the agenda, with a focus on the preparations for the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on 17 May.

"This is a topic of particular importance for the Bulgarian Presidency since the European perspective and the connectivity of the region are a strategic priority for us,"

Ms Zaharieva said when speaking about the outcome of the discussions.

Ministers also examined a presidency report today on the contributions of the Council configurations to the 2018 European semester package and agreed on 23 to 26 May as the dates for the European elections in 2019.

Under 'any other business' the Commission updated the Council on its dialogue with the Polish authorities on the rule of law in Poland.

At the end of the meeting, Ms Zaharieva gave a press conference, in which European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans also took part.

More information about the outcomes of the meeting is available here.

Pictures and videos can be found here.

Information about the European Council meeting on 22 March is here.

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