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Bulgaria EU presidency promises unity in face of Brexit

10 January 2018, 00:20 CET
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Bulgaria EU presidency promises unity in face of Brexit

Bulgaria presidency logo

(SOFIA) - "United We Stay Strong" is the motto of Bulgaria's presidency of the EU Council, which began 1 January 2018, and underlined the EU's focus on solidarity as pivotal to the EU's future in the face of Brexit.

Bulgaria takes over the rotating presidency from Estonia at a time when Europe and the world face serious geopolitical, economic and social challenges.

The "United We Stay Strong" motto is the motto of the coat of arms of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The new presidency says it will be an honest broker and "will work towards finding common solutions in response to the needs of Europe and the European citizens for more security, stability and solidarity, aiming to establish a Strong, Digital and United Europe through consensus, competitiveness and cohesion."

During the next 6 months, the presidency will focus on four key areas: future of Europe and young people, Western Balkans, security and stability and digital economy.

Bulgaria promises to work "in a spirit of transparency", in close cooperation with the other EU Member States and the EU institutions."

Bulgaria sees itself as a natural representative of the Balkans, and most of all of the Western Balkans, on their way to Europe.

In its presidency programme, it says "Europe continues to be the most attractive place to live world-wide, and one of its challenges, migration, provides clear evidence of that. The EU is at the doorstep of key reforms aimed at making it stronger, more united and more democratic. This should make us both more proud to be Europeans and more ambitious about our Union. We believe that our European ambition should inspire not divide, it should be shared, not imposed."

The four priority areas for Bulgaria's presidency are:

  • economic and social cohesion with a focus on the next EU multi-annual financial framework, future Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policy, and a deeper Economic and Monetary Union;
  • stability and security of Europe: common decisions on more security on the EU's external borders, more efficient migration management, laying the foundations of a Defence Union, including through implementation of the first EU Permanent Structured Co-operation;
  • European prospects and connectivity of the Western Balkans: Bulgaria is intent on making the best use of its regional expertise, without creating any false expectations, to support EU accession-related reforms in the Western Balkan states and put them high on the EU agenda in view of the peace and stability in that region. At the same time the Presidency will work to provide more geopolitical and economic support for the Western Balkans through improving their road, railway, air, digital, educational and energy connectivity to the EU;
  • digital economy and skills for the future: with a focus of completing the EU digital single market and development of digital economy and skills. This file includes the cybersecurity package, the copyright directive, the free flow of non-personal data, the e-communications code, e-privacy etc.

Programme of the Republic of Bulgaria for the presidency of the Council of the EU (1 January -30 June 2018)

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