Start of Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU: furthering a digital economy in the EU

January 1st, 2018 marked the beginning of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. A decade after its accession to the EU, Bulgaria will take over the rotating Presidency for the first time. Bulgaria will continue the progress of the Estonian Presidency on a digital European society, which includes fully supporting the Digital Single Market and the Single Digital Gateway regulation.

Bulgaria has committed itself to working for a secure, stable, and solidary Europe. Their four top priorities are the Future of Europe and young people; Western Balkans; Security and Stability; and a Digital Economy.

Throughout the priority on a digital economy, the Bulgarian Presidency highlights the importance of the digital single market and its direct link to the competitiveness of the European economy. The Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Lilyana Pavlova explained the emphasis on Digital Europe, because it is the biggest challenge for the Single Market, and at the same time the biggest opportunity. The official programme of the Bulgarian Presidency states that it will seek maximum progress on the proposal for a Regulation on a Single Digital Portal (SDGR). This will pave the way for the full implementation of the once-only principle.

The Bulgarian Presidency is also fully in line with the Trio-Programme Estonia, Bulgaria, and Austria have committed themselves to. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18-month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme. Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria are fully committed to a Digital Europe: Their programme states that is will advance cross-border digital public services by an ambitious implementation of the principles of the EU e-Government Action Plan 2016-2020, which includes the once-only principle. It will also intensify the take up of electronic identification and trust services for electronic transaction in the internal market (e-IDAS) in order to accelerate the cross-border and cross-sector use of electronic identification (e-ID), including mobile ID and trust services for digitally enabled businesses as well as in the public sector. One of the key enablers of the once-only principle is the successful implementation of cross-border electronic identification services.

SCOOP4C is excited for the work of the Bulgarian Presidency and fully support its agenda on a digital Europe. We would also like to thank the Estonian Presidency for all their efforts and successes in furthering a digital economy and the once-only principle.

For more information:

  • Political outcomes of the Estonian presidency (© Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU/