Bulgaria Absolutely Ready to Take Over EU Presidency, Minister Says

Bulgaria Absolutely Ready to Take Over EU Presidency, Minister Says

Sofia, August 2 (BTA) - The government minister in charge of planning the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2018 does not see any deficiencies that could affect the Presidency. Liliyana Pavlova believes that the three main prerequisites for a successful Bulgarian EU Presidency already exist: a well-trained staff, a calendar of events, and good logistics and organization of all relevant meetings in Brussels and Sofia.

"I do not see any weak points at this stage. There may be some momentary problems or stumbling-blocks, but overall I believe that Bulgaria is absolutely ready to take over the Presidency," Pavlova told a news briefing on Wednesday.

The motto of the Presidency, "Unity Makes Strength," was confirmed by a government decision earlier in the day, the minister announced. The choice of the motto was partly based on opinion polls.

The calendar of events was also adopted during the day. Among the meetings with the largest expected attendance, Pavlova singled out an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia in early May. The formal opening of the Bulgarian EU Presidency is scheduled for January 4 at Sofia's Ivan Vazov National Theatre. The next day there will be meetings of the Council of Ministers and the College of Commissioners.

Yet another government decision on Wednesday determined that the symbolic colours of the Bulgarian EU Presidency will be blue and yellow. Public procurement procedures will be conducted to select the contractors for branding and other services for the events in Sofia.

Taking a journalist's question, Pavlova said the refurbishment of the NDK convention centre will be completed before the onset of the Presidency. NDK will be the main Sofia venue of meetings during the Presidency.

The website of the Bulgarian EU Presidency will become accessible in four languages on December 1, Pavlova said.

She added that 80 per cent of respondents in a poll conducted by the Exacta Research Group approved of the messages of the Bulgarian EU Presidency and almost 75 per cent approved of Bulgaria's EU membership.

Source: Sofia