Bulgaria has taken over from Estonia the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union.

The European perspective of the Western Balkans is one of the priorities of the presidency of this country, which became an EU member ten years ago, Beta reported on Monday.

This is be the first time that Bulgaria is presiding over the EU, which, it is stressed in Sofia, is “a great honor, but also a responsibility.”

Among the four priorities of the Bulgarian presidency is “the EU perspective of the Western Balkans.”

“When we talk about a united Europe, we must not forget that the Western Balkans needs a clear European perspective and connections between the countries of the region, as well as with EU member states. The ambition of the Bulgarian presidency is to achieve a clear action plan with each of these countries, without creating unrealistic expectations, but instead through concrete steps,” the Bulgarian Presidency Program states.

This is “the path toward long-lasting peace, security and prosperity of the region,” while the aim is to “connect the countries of the Western Balkans – digitally, educationally, as well as in the areas of transport and energy.”

Bulgaria also pledged “to work to present a tangible European perspective for all Western Balkan countries, with an emphasis on strengthening regional cooperation and promoting good neighborly relations.”

With this in mind, the country plans to organize the EU-Western Balkans Summit in May.
Austria will be the next country to assume the rotating EU presidency, followed, by December 2020, by Romania, Finland, Croatia, and Germany.