Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva will chair the meeting of the General Affairs Council (Article 50), which is to be held on 29 January in Brussels. This will be the first GAC meeting in EU27 format under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, , will brief the Ministers on the current state of play of the negotiations with the United Kingdom. The Ministers will then exchange views in regard to the information provided.
The Council is expected to adopt directives on the conduct of negotiations on withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. They will introduce greater clarity concerning EU27 position on the transitional period.
The directives will be based on the principles and conditions set out in the guidelines, approved by the European Council on 29 April 2017 and 15 December 2017 and will refine them. The text will also build on the recommendations of the Commission of 20 December 2017.
The adoption by the General Affairs Council (Article 50) of the directives will provide the Commission , in its capacity of negotiator on behalf of the EU, with a mandate to negotiate with the United Kingdom the transitional provisions, which are to be included into the agreement for the UK withdrawal from the EU.
Minister Zaharieva is expected to make a statement for the media ahead of the Council in Brussels, at about 14:50 hrs. of local time in Bulgaria.
The press conference of Minister Zaharieva after the end of the GAC meeting on Article 50 is expected to start at about 17:30 hrs.