Bulgarian Presidency Launched: Middle East and Balkans Topping EU Agenda

Written by | Monday, January 15th, 2018

The European Union has just inaugurated the Bulgarian semester of EU Presidency, making the next six months particularly important for shaping the relations between the EU and the Balkans. The main goal still remains to consolidate the six Balkan partners towards the EU so that it becomes an irreversible process. The gathering of European leaders in Sofia was, however, also characterized by an intense work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran.

The deal is working and the International Atomic Energy has certified it nine times, it is key for the European security and the security around the world. Federica Mogherini, head of EU diplomacy, appreciated that US President Donald Trump had confirmed that the United States would respect their commitments but he also extended the waiver on nuclear-related sanctions. Mrs. Mogherini nonetheless expressed her concerns over the latest wave of protests in Iran as well as the country’s ballistic missiles program.

For the EU, the Middle East is a strategic region: its stability, peace and security are connected directly to European stability, peace and security. To support the region, the EU has convened an extraordinary meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the group of international donors for Palestine and it is the first time that this happens. The main objective of this meeting is to support the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and thus grant peace and stability for both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Mrs. Mogherini also underlined the importance of Jewish culture to European identity and admitted that the rise of anti-Semitism was a growing concern.

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