Comment 18 Jan 18

Don’t Expect Much From Bulgaria EU’s Presidency

It seem unlikely that a country known mainly for poverty, corruption and a shaky respect for the rule of law can provide Europe, or the Western Balkans, with much guidance during its six-month presidency. 

Adelina Marini
Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov with Juncker and Tusk at the opening ceremony of Bulgaria's Presidency in Sofia. Photo: Bulgarian Presidency press service

Finally, a country that joined the EU without a well-established rule of law has taken over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU– with boosting the integration of the countries of the Western Balkans as its priority.

Bulgaria, together withRomania, joined the EU in 2007 under a special monitoring mechanism, despite which its political elites have continued to sabotage the establishment of the rule of law and democracy.

Ironically, during its six-month-rotational presidency, which opened last Thursday, it will have to work precisely on the defence of the rule of law, which in Poland is under attack – a role that puts the government of Boyko Borissov  in an uncomfortable position.

Although the rule of law is mentioned as a foundation principle of the EU in its Treaty, the subject was not really on the agenda until recently.

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