Bulgaria's EU presidency to face tough geopolitical challenges

With migration, integration of Western Balkan states and EU-Turkey and Russia relations as the main priorities, Bulgaria's EU council presidency in the first half of 2018 will face geopolitical challenges. 

Bulgaria hopes to reach an agreement among EU heads of state on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) reform by June. The current Dublin asylum system puts frontline states under hard pressure by getting them all the responsibility of the migrant’s management. To maintain the €6 billion EU-Turkey migration agreement, Sofia needs to revitalise relations with Ankara. A similar geopolitical effort including not only Turkey but Russia as key actors in the region is needed to advance the European integration of Western Balkans. Sofia wants to promote more stability, security and Balkan EU integration through educational initiatives. On Russia, Bulgaria makes it clear that it supports the EU sanctions and will keep with the previous EU core line. Despite historical. cultural, economic and energy influence by Russia in the country, Bulgaria stays steady on its Euro-Atlantic geopolitical path.

About author: Martin Macq

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