Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov is taking personal control of co-ordination of the preparation and implementation of Bulgaria’s presidency of the EU in 2018 – a job until now done by one of his deputies, Meglena Kouneva.
The Cabinet approved a report by Borissov proposing changes in the national co-ordination mechanism for the country’s EU presidency, a government statement on August 31 said.
It said that the changes were needed because of the Bulgarian EU presidency being brought forward to the first half of 2018 “and the need for strong political commitment and speed in preparations”.
The initial schedule for the rotating presidencies of the EU saw Bulgaria holding the presidency in the second half of 2018.
However, as a result of the UK’s Brexit vote, and that country’s withdrawal of itself from the schedule of EU presidencies, Bulgaria’s presidency was brought forward by six months.
The government statement said that there would be co-ordinators for specific areas of preparation, appointed from among deputy prime ministers and Cabinet ministers.
Kouneva, deputy prime minister in charge of the co-ordination of EU policies, and until now in overall charge, has been handed the logistics portfolio.
Tomislav Donchev, deputy prime minister in charge of EU funds, will be in charge of infrastructure and buildings.
Roumyana Buchvarova, deputy prime minister and interior minister, will be security co-ordinator.
Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov will be in charge of the budget for Bulgaria’s EU presidency, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov in charge of communication strategy, Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov in charge of the cultural programme.
The national centre for the preparation and conduct of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU will retain its statutory functions, but the thematic working groups created by a Cabinet decision in 2015 will be shut down, the statement said.
The requisite legislative changes flowing from the Cabinet decision will be approved at a future Cabinet meeting, according to the statement.