Presidency

Priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On January 1, 2018, a decade after its accession to the EU, Bulgaria will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time. Four our country it is a great honour, but a great responsibility too.

For six months Bulgaria will be the main driving force for the tasks on the agenda of the Union, it will perform the functions of an honest mediator, a political leader, a representative and a coordinator. We are prepared for this, we realise it will not be easy, but we know what we want to achieve and we can do it. Our goal is to respond to the real needs of European citizens and turn challenges into opportunities.

We will work for a

  • Secure Europe, because the migration crisis and the terrorist acts over the past years have shown how vulnerable we are;
  • Stable Europe, because the citizens want to know that the European Union is taking care of their prosperity and wellbeing;
  • Solidary Europe, because all member states are faced with the main challenges and they can be overcome only with joint action, not at national or local level.

How are we going to achieve it? Through

  • Consensus
  • Competitiveness
  • Cohesion

We are convinced that they are fundamental for the future of Europe, and for achieving them one needs courage, political vision and shared efforts. The key to attaining our common goals is unity. It is not by chance that we chose “United We Stand Strong” for our slogan. This is the motto of our National Assembly and of the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bulgaria. This will be the slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018, which our country will follow in each action as rotational President. We will work for unity between the member states, as well as between the European institutions.

Tomorrow Europe will be what we make it today. Today is the time to build a stronger, more secure and more solidary European Union. The citizens of Bulgaria and of the European Union expect from us to find concrete solutions to concrete issues. The Bulgarian Presidency will work in a transparent manner, open to all European partners and, above all, to all European citizens.

Video - Priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council

Bulgaria EU Presidency CEPOL priorities 01.01-30.06.2018:

  1. The future of Europe and of the young people – economic growth and social cohesion

Economic growth and social cohesion are key to the future of Europe. There is some good news for the Union in the forecasts – the European economy is speeding up, more jobs are being created, investment is growing, public finances are becoming stronger. Still, there are some challenges – high levels of debt, small increase in salaries. We shall overcome these challenges together. It is important that the member states' economies continue to grow, it is important that all EU states participate in the debate on the reforms of the Eurozone as equals, regardless of whether they are members of the latter or not.

The future of the Union is to continue the efforts for social cohesion. The Cohesion Policy provides a real added value for EU citizens and is a proven example of a working instrument for reducing the differences between us, which guarantees the success of the European model. This is why our Presidency will work for an active and constructive debate on the Multiannual Financial Framework. We are aware that the world is changing, and overcoming the challenges requires resources. We are convinced that we have to look for a balance between the new funds and the already existing ones, between the financial instruments and the grant financing.

  1. Western Balkans

When talking about united Europe, we should not forget that the Western Balkans need a clear European perspective and connectivity between them and with the member states. The ambition of the Bulgarian Presidency is to achieve a clear action plan with each of the countries, without creating unrealistic expectations, but with concrete steps. This is the way to have long lasting peace, security and prosperity in the region. The goal is to provide connectivity to the Western Balkan countries – transport, air, energy, educational and digital. Bulgaria invests consequent efforts in this direction, for example by promoting the digital policies of the EU among the countries in the Western Balkans through gradual reduction of roaming charges and by increasing the possibilities for broadband internet access.

  1. Security and stability

Security and migration policies are some of the topics on which we need consensus and joint efforts. The Bulgarian Presidency will work towards long lasting and fair solutions in the area of asylum policy, for efficient policies for return and readmission, for a balanced approach between short and long-term measures aiming at the source of migration, not only at the consequences thereof. European citizens need security and stability and without these, European values are difficult to attain. This is why great emphasis in our efforts will be given to security, whereby we will focus on strengthening the border controls, on the exchange of information between the various bodies, and on prevention. It is important to work towards efficient, fast and fair justice.

  1. Digital Economy

Europe’s role in the rapidly developing world is directly linked to the competitiveness of the European economy. The single digital market, the access to innovation, the link between education and the requirements of the future labour market are at the basis of technological development. It is not by chance they are a major element of the programme of the Trio of the Presidencies - Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria and a priority of the Bulgarian Presidency. Electronic communication, providing transboundary services particularly to the SMEs, copy rights, e-privacy and cyber security are some of the items on the agenda that need to be decided upon. Linking the education of the young people with learning “the skills for the future” is the way to achieve a competitive, flexible and successful Europe.

The focus of all our action will be young people. We are responsible to them where we are leading our Union. They are our common investment in the future; they should be given the opportunities of education and development. Fostering early childhood development, modernization of the European educational systems and curricula, strengthening social inclusion through formal and informal learning – these are some of the tasks that should not be put off. Today, in the time of information and communication technologies, more than ever before it is a conditio sine qua non for these technologies to be widely introduced at all levels of the educational system.

Video - Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018 - The Start

Contact details

Academy of the Ministry of the Interior

1 Alexander Malinov Blvd.

1784 Sofia

BULGARIA

Contact

Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27
Hungary

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest
Pf.314
Hungary

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032

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