Bulgaria Assumes Revolving EU Presidency


ARCHIV - Die Fahnen von Rumänien (2.v.r) und Bulgarien (2.v.l) wehen am 25.04.2005 in Sofia (Bulgarien) neben Flaggen der EU. Bulgarien übernimmt unter seiner Staatsdevise «Einigkeit macht stark» am 1. Januar 2018 erstmals den halbjährlichen EU-Ratsvorsitz. (zu dpa «Balkanland Bulgarien übernimmt 2018 die EU-Ratspräsidentschaft» vom 27.12.2017) Foto: epa Vassil Donev/EPA/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

On January 1, 2018 Bulgaria took over the revolving presidency of the European Union. Taking
over from Estonia, the presidency rotates between the 28 different EU member states with each
country getting a six month term before handing it over to the next. Following its term, Bulgaria
will hand over the title to Austria on July 1, 2018.
The presidency will give Bulgaria the opportunity to chair meetings and set agendas but it won’t
be an easy term—the ongoing migrant crisis and Brexit negotiations will be just two of the
challenges to navigate.
But Bulgaria also has its own agenda items to further: the future of Europe and specifically, its
young people; new EU membership for Balkan states; security and stability; and the digital
economy. Bulgaria has chosen the slogan “United we stand strong” to mark its presidency—a
motto from the nation’s coat of arms.
Unity will be a key issue as Bulgaria will need to manage a June deadline for EU leaders to
overhaul the Dublin Regulation (under which the country where an asylum seeker arrives is
responsible for them), find common ground on the terms for Brexit, and manage threats to rule
of law coming from Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
The meetings and negotiations will be held in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia in the National Palace of
Culture.