"UNITED WE STAND STRONG"
Bulgaria chose its national motto as the motto of its first EU presidency for good reasons.
The main value of the European project was to wipe out division lines and unite a fractured continent around the centennial dreams of its people - of peace, freedom, democracy, prosperity and justice.
EU summits in Bratislava and Rome showed clearly that despite Brexit the European dream is still alive and that a united Europe is our common destiny.
Europe continues to be the most attractive place to live world-wide, and one of its challenges, migration, provides clear evidence of that.
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.
In order to preserve its historical achievements and prepare for the future, Europe has to re-invent itself as it has always done throughout its six decades of integration.
This will take reflection and discussions, imagination and courage, resilience and leadership. But above all, it will take a sense of common destiny and consensus.
The EU is at the doorstep of key reforms aimed at making it stronger, more united and more democratic. Bulgaria's Presidency has four priority areas, which reflect these reforms:
- economic and social cohesion with a focus on the next EU multiannual 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 implememtation 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 stablity 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 connectility 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 cyber security 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)