Republic of Bulgaria actively and consistently supports the process of enlargement of the European Union (EU). The progress in the European integration of all countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey, after the implementation of the necessary reforms, corresponds to the interest of our country to build a region of stability, security and prosperity where the values, principles and standards of the EU are guaranteed.
We express proactive positions in the course of the negotiation process with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, taking into account the specifics of the national interest. We support the start of pre-accession negotiations for EU membership with the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Albania in 2019 in case the conditions required are met. We are assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, which are potential candidates for membership, in their efforts to strengthen their European perspective.
It is of interest for Bulgaria for the policy of EU enlargement to remain a serious motivating force on the path of the respective countries to good neighbourliness, democratic reforms and progress in economic and social aspects.
In the context of the results achieved by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU (January - June 2018), we are making efforts to ensure that the enlargement policy continues to occupy an important place on the EU agenda.
Common Foreign and Security Policy
The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (CFSP) covers all foreign policy areas , as well as all security related issues of the Union, including the gradual development of a common defence policy, which can evolve into a common defence.
CFSP is subject to specific rules and procedures. The European Council defines the strategic interests of the Union, sets out its objectives and formulates the general guidelines of the CFSP, including on defence related matters .
The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) develops the CFSP and adopts the decisions needed to define and implement this policy on the basis of the general guidelines and strategic directions set by the European Council. It consists of the foreign ministers of all EU member states. The FAC meetings are chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, currently Josep Borrell. .
The High Representative, together with the Council, monitors the unity, coherence and effectiveness of the Union's actions, is responsible for the overall external action and coordinates the various aspects of the EU foreign policy within the European Commission (EC), ensures consistency and is the "voice" of the EU in terms of its external action. The High Representative represents the Union in terms of CFSP and conducts political dialogue with third countries on behalf of the EU by expressing the EU's position before international organisations and international forums.
In order to exercise its powers, the High Representative is assisted by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the composition and organisation of which is determined by unanimity of the Council. The EEAS includes staff of the General Secretariat of the Council and of the Commission, as well as seconded experts of EU Member States. The EEAS officially became operational on 1 January 2011. The operational management of the EEAS is carried out by the Secretary General, currently Stefano Sannino.
The Republic of Bulgaria fully participates in the process of the formation and carrying out of the EU CFSP, including in the implementation of the priority areas of the Strategic Program for the EU of 2014 and the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU of 2016.
The Western Balkans and their European perspective were pivotal to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the period January-June 2018. The Member States, together with the six countries of the Western Balkans, agreed on specific measures for enhanced cooperation on transport links, energy security, economy, business climate and opportunities for young persons, and to address common challenges in the field of security and migration.
Another important priority for Bulgaria is having democratic, stable, prosperous and sustainable countries within the European neighbourhood. Strengthening the resilience of the Eastern Partnership countries is achieved through support for connectivity, economic development and trade projects, people-to-people contacts and comprehensive cooperation in the field of education and research. The Southern Neighbourhood is also an important priority for Bulgaria in order to achieve long-term stability.
The topic of migration is also important for Bulgaria. Restricting migration flows to the European Union and preventing migration crises is directly dependent on the level of cooperation with the countries of origin and transit of migrants. Targeted cooperation with third countries is needed, building on existing migration partnerships, as well as finding new solutions that would allow migrants to stay closer to their regions of origin.