Bulgarian EU Council presidency programme is disappointing
The presidency programme falls short of Peter Kouroumbashev's expectations, but it's not too late to produce a better version, he writes.
Peter Kouroumbashev Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
I represent the Bulgarian Socialists; we are the country's biggest opposition force. Therefore, I am going to be very critical.
The presidency's 40-page programme was published last month.
On energy, it contains only a short paragraph that says very little. It says the presidency will make efforts to achieve a stable European energy union and will push forward the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package, which was presented by the Commission more than a year ago.
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Is this enough? Isn't this extremely vague and highly general? The Commission has largely delivered in terms of legislative proposals.
The next step is to make sure that these legislative proposals are accepted by the EU co-legislators, namely the national governments and European Parliament. This is not an easy task.
The presidency could play an active role, also making sure that civil society, professional associations, academia, workers' unions and citizens become more involved.
Digital-native 'millennials' are a largely under-utilised resource.
Last but not least, in the case of Bulgaria, the diaspora, which has gained invaluable experience abroad, has been totally ignored.
Without the support of the citizens I'm afraid we won't get very far. Sadly, I find nothing in the presidency's final programme that reaches out to the citizens.
In my opinion, it is not too late to produce a more convincing version.
MEPs will vote on a raft of energy proposals and debate the future of the EU during the first plenary session of the year, next week in Strasbourg.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his Council counterpart Donald Tusk led an EU delegation to Sofia to launch the Bulgarian Council presidency on Thursday.
The formal launch of Bulgaria’s EU Council presidency on Thursday was marked by a large-scale demonstration by thousands of protesters in the country’s capital.
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