2011 Will Be the Year of Eastern Europe in EU

2011 Will Be the Year of Eastern Europe in EU

The chairing of the rotating EU Presidency by Hungary and Poland in 2011 is a unique opportunity for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, according to Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

In a statement Wednesday dedicated to Bulgaria's foreign policy priorities during the Hungarian EU Presidency in the first six months of 2011, Mladenov declared that the combination of chairing of the EU by two Eastern European nations – as Poland will chair it in the second half of 2011 - for an entire year created very important opportunities for Bulgaria.

He outlined as the utmost priorities the issues of energy security. The second priority for Bulgaria during the Hungarian EU Presidency that he named is the implementation of the EU Danube Strategy.

He pointed to the start of the discussions for the next financial framework of the EU for 2014-2020 and the future of the Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policy of the EU as a third crucial area to be tackled during the Hungarian Presidency as well as the following presidencies.

Other topics of major importance for Bulgaria that Mladenov outlined are the integration of the Roma on a EU-level and the enlargement of the EU with respect to the Western Balkans.

He mentioned the expected completion of the accession talks with Croatia, getting an EC position of Serbia's bid, and the quick formation of a government in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He explicitly emphasized the development of the EU policies in the Black Sea region.

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