Bulgaria will likely assume the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU half a year earlier than initially scheduled. The change in schedule is due to the outcome of the referendum on UK’s membership to the EU held in June, in which 51.9 % of British voters supported Brexit.
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According to the initial schedule, Bulgaria had to assume the rotational presidency in the second half of 2018 in a trio with the UK and Estonia. However with the outcome of the referendum and the expected withdrawal of the UK from the EU, its place in the trio will most likely be replaced by Finland. According to former spokesperson of the Bulgarian foreign ministry Vesela Cherneva,
These six months will be much more intense as Bulgaria will have to mediate in the taking of difficult decisions concerning the fate of the EU, private bTV station quoted her as saying on Friday. Immediately after the outcome of the referendum, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva said that Brexit raised questions about Bulgaria’s chairmanship, including the prospect of the country having to assume the presidency earlier than initially scheduled.
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