Bulgaria to Assume EU Presidency Six Months Early on 1 January 2018
Bulgaria will assume the rotating presidency of the European Council on 1 January 2018, six months earlier than initially planned, the country’s public radio broadcaster BNR announced on Thursday.
The change had been propmpted by Britain’s decision is to give up its presidency of the European Council next year in order to focus on preparations for negotiations to leave the EU, BNR said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has informed the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, about the decision in a telephone call on Tuesday. The UK was due to hold the seat in the second half of next year but the Prime Minister has decided that Britain should skip its turn in the light of last month's referendum vote for Brexit.
The UK will be replaced by Estonia, which will assume the six-month presidency of the European Council on 1 June 2017. Bulgaria will take the seat from Estonia from the start of the following year.
Slovakia holds the rotating EU presidency at present. Malta will assume the position on 1 January 2017.
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