International Conference on the Association of Honorary Consuls in Support of the Bulgarian EU PresidencyBulgaria in EU |Author: Kristina Yordanova | September 28, 2017, Thursday // 14:49| views
‘’We are ready – on the eve of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union’’ – for and open dialogue, the Minister in charge of the Bulgarian EU 2018 Presidency Lilyana Pavlova has told an international conference of the Association of the Honorary Consuls in Bulgaria.
The conference’s theme was ‘’The Association of the Honorary Consuls in Bulgarian support of the Bulgarian EU Presidency’’.
Minister Pavlova has outlined the priorities and has reported on how preparation work proceeds. We have a special emphasis – the Western Balkans and young people, she has further said.
Regarding the Western Balkans, Bulgaria needs support and more like-minded people, according to her words.
During the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union a few burning issues will be discussed including security, integration, the energy union, measures for climate and we should uphold them together, Pavlova has said addressing the honorary consuls.
The motto of the Bulgarian Presidency is “United We Stand Strong” and the key messages are consensus, competitiveness and cohesion.
‘’We also have the support of President Juncker, but we do not support the division of different speeds, rich and poor, to countries inside and outside the euro area’’, she added.
Bulgaria will start its Presidency term on 1 July 2018 and in Brussels on 1 February. Some 22,000 participants are expected to visit Sofia for the meetings.
This task will be an important test for the national political, administrative and diplomatic capacity. The Presidency is responsible for the preparation, coordination and leadership of all meetings of the Council of the EU and its supporting bodies and structures (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council). The Presidency provides substantial political opportunities for the Member State who performs it as well as potential for influence over the strategic agenda-setting of the EU. This is a timeframe that goes well beyond the six-month rotating mandate. In turn, this opportunity requires intensive diplomatic contacts, active work within the national ministries and effective coordination with the national Permanent Representation in Brussels. There are about 3 years left for us to develop our institutional and organizational capacity and to develop strategies for successful leadership of the EU during the Presidency term of Bulgaria.
If carefully planned and utilized, the Presidency mandate will provide Bulgaria with the opportunity to put forward some of its strategic priorities into the center of the political agenda of the Union.
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