Because of Brexit, Bulgarian EU presidency moves forward to January 2018

Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved on July 27 a revised sequence of European Union presidencies, with Brexit necessitating the Bulgarian EU presidency being moved forward by six months to the first half of 2018.

The United Kingdom, following the June 23 vote to leave the EU, earlier announced that it would not take up the rotating presidency of the European Council that it had been scheduled to hold in the second half of 2017.

The change in schedule means that Bulgaria will be in a “troika” with Estonia and Austria.

Rotating presidencies of the European Council follow this practice, with an incumbent presidency working with its predecessor and successor.

Considering the situation after the referendum in the UK, it is of key importance for the EU not to allow a period of uncertainty that can cause serious political and economic consequences, the Bulgarian government said in a statement.

Maintaining the integrity and unity of the EU is an immediate priority, and the option to assume the presidency six months earlier is also an opportunity for Bulgaria to show it is a responsible and reliable partner within the EU.

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(Photo: copyright Clive Leviev-Sawyer)