After half of the the Bulgarian Presidency has passed, there were almost one hundred meetings held in Sofia, as well as many meetings in Brussels, said Lilyana Pavlova. She expressed her satisfaction, that Bulgaria is receiving very high assessments.

We have a company that analyzes publications in foreign media. The trend is that there is a positive direction in growth of good publications”, she said.

Our country has clearly focused priorities that are well assessed, the minister added. The second element is the topic of the Western Balkans, which takes priority place on the agenda of the institutions, and the institutional triangle speaks with one voice, she explained.

There is also a certain sharing of common point of view in the subject of security and migration.

We have been able to put forward concrete texts on how to resolve this problem, including a legislative one. We have pleasantly surprised our partners”, Pavlova said.

Thanks to the good partnership that Bulgaria has with Turkey and good relations between Prime Minister Borisov and President Erdogan, we do not have illegal migration pressure along the border. No other EU external border can be praised with this”, Pavlova also commented.

Minister Pavlova also commented on the topic of European integration of the Western Balkans.

From day one, we have said that for us the Western Balkans are important topic, which needs to be brought back on the agenda of Europe”, she said.

We are talking about a European perspective for the Western Balkans. Task number one that we have set, has already been completed. The first success of the European Presidency is already a fact – to return this topic to the Pan-European agenda, because they have fallen out from the agenda of Europe“, added Pavlova.

“False expectations” shall not be given about the accession date, because there is still a lot of work to be done by the countries of the region. “They should express willingness to do the necessary in this process, because no one can do their job”, the Minister of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council stressed.

The Presidency of the Council is mandated on a rotating principle between EU Member States every six months. During this period, the Presidency holds meetings at each level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of EU work in the Council. The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU runs from 1 January to 30 June 2018.

The Member States implementing the Presidency are working closely in groups of 3 Member States called “Trio”. This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. This trio is composed of the presidencies of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria.