Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU

On January 1, 2018, Bulgaria officially took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Bulgaria’s presidency agenda contains four key priorities. They are related to finding consensual solutions to the major challenges facing the Community and building a stable, secure and solidary Europe. 
Bulgaria will work for the better future of the EU and young people by achieving economic growth and social cohesion. The second priority – stability and security in a strong and united Europe is linked to the development and implementation of effective mechanisms for enhancing the security of EU citizens. The Bulgarian presidency will further focus its efforts on creating a European perspective for the Western Balkans and better connectivity between them. The fourth priority includes the digital economy and the skills of the future. 
As regards employment and social policy Bulgaria will put a number of main topics at the heart of European debates in the first half of 2018. The first priority in this field is to come up with a clear vision for the future of labour and to identify the exact skills and competences for the new jobs. The country will put an emphasis on youth employment and the better planning and linking of education, training and employment policies. 
The Bulgarian presidency will also seek possibilities for assistance by the European Social Fund after the end of the programming period 2014-2020. The goal is to find effective solutions for boosting growth and guaranteeing sustainable jobs, improving social inclusion and combating poverty.
Priority will also be given to the integration of people with disabilities as full members of society. Another major focus of the European debates will be early childhood development policies. Discussions on this matter are in line with the priorities for reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion by providing support to families and children at the earliest age.

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