Bulgarian EU Presidency to focus on Balkan integration, security

  • Dominika Jandová
  • 13.11.2017 16:17

During his visit to Brussels on Wednesday 8 November, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced he will push to bring the Western Balkan countries closer to the EU during Bulgaria's upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU. According to Borissov, Brexit will bring more openness within the Union to the possibility of Balkan countries joining it.

Bulgaria also aims to bring more EU funding to the region. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker repeated that further enlargement is not realistic before 2019. Moreover, as a recent study showed, only Macedonia is able to implement EU law before 2023. Juncker subsequently added that Serbia and Montenegro can become EU members by 2025. Priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency will include, in addition to migration and cybersecurity, the issue of Bulgaria's contribution to the EU's integrated defence capabilities. Minister for the EU Presidency Lilyana Pavlova said that Bulgaria will mainly aim for joint solutions and compromises, whether it will be on the topic of border controls or the recently initiated Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which should launch after a vote at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 11 December. 

About author: Dominika Jandová


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