|Rumen Radev (Independent, from January 2017)
Ognyan Gerdzhikov (acting, from January 2017)
|Size||110,994 km2 (42,823 sq miles)|
|MEPs||17 (joined the EU in 2007)|
|Next legislative election||2022|
|Presidency of the Council||January-June 2018|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||None held to date|
|Brexit priorities||The Bulgarian Government wants to move ahead on adopting the euro and join the EU’s visa-free travel regime. It fears that the Brexit negotiations will see smaller, younger member states lose influence in the EU in future, as core member states come closer together. Economically speaking, Brexit should not affect Bulgaria much, as 3 percent of Bulgarian exports are shipped to the UK. However, securing rights for Bulgarian citizens in the UK is a top priority.|
|What former PM Borisov said on Brexit
|The UK’s decision to exit the European Union marks “a bad day for Europe.”
“I respect the choice of their people, although from now on it [the people] will be severely split.”
“From now on the EU must show that it can do without Britain […] and we have to start thinking about Europe without them. Any negotiations about a special status should not be held because they will break the union apart.”
“When the EU is weaker, you see how the markets react […] the pound is falling. Hence, there will be consequences for everyone.”
|Bulgaria’s priorities||The new Bulgarian Government will want to seek political stability, after the resignation of PM Borisov and the elections. Borisov’s party GERB came in first with 32.63 percent of votes, which is not a majority. The priority now will be to form a coalition.
The new Bulgarian President wants the EU to drop its sanctions on Russia as it seeks closer ties with Moscow.
Bulgaria is the EU’s poorest country and the Government has been heavily criticised for its lack of action regarding tackling poverty and corruption.
Another Bulgarian priority is to block the EU’s resettlement plans for refugees.
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