Bulgaria’s EU Presidency: Key Priorities Outlined

The Republic holds the presidency of the Council of the EU since the 1st of January for the first six months of 2018. The presidency with the focus on needs of the European citizens aims at creating a strong, digital and united Europe.

Bulgaria outlined four main priories in the programme of the Presidency:

  • 1st priority – the future of Europe and the young people – is focused on economic growth and social cohesion. Special attention will be paid to Multiannual Financial Framework post-2020, Cohesion Policy after 2020, the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Economic and Monetary Union, sustainable and future-oriented environment, culture as a strategic resource for the better future of the EU, young people and the future of EU.
  • 2nd priority – European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans – has the objective to deepen cooperation and good relations in the region as part of the EU Enlargement Policy. Bulgaria sees upcoming months as a Balkan Presidency.
  • 3rd priority – security and stability in a strong and united Europe – has an emphasis on the security of EU citizens, including protection in cyber space, strengthening border controls and a more effective management of migration processes. Furthermore, special attention will be paid to assuring sustainability in the Energy Union as well as provision of rapid and efficient justice.
  • 4th priority – digital economy and skills of the future – focuses on economic prosperity of EU citizens, environment of competitiveness, digital single market, promotion of entrepreneurship and social innovation, the future of labour in a digital and fairer EU.

In the field of telecommunications, the Bulgarian presidency primary aim is to close the negotiations on the reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communication. In particular, the top priority is the Directive on the European Electronic Communications Code as well as a Regulation establishing the Body European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). Guaranteeing the protection of privacy, personal data and the confidentiality of messages in the EU (including with the ePrivacy Regulation) is part of the other main goals on the development of Digital Single Market is. The Council is planning to have a general position on the ePrivacy Regulation proposal by the end of the Bulgarian presidency, however the speed of the negotiations, and whether this objective can be reached, will depend on the progress made on the European Electronic Communications Code.

Furthermore, active discussions on the Cybersecurity act are planned to make the maximum progress on the dossier during the Bulgarian presidency.