Digital economy one of the main goals for Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council

On January 1, 2018, a decade after its accession to the EU, Bulgaria has taken over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time. It main goals for the next six month are: future of Europe and young people, Western Balkans, security and stability, digital economy.

The Bulgarian Presidency will place the emphasis on the Digital Single Market as a source
of growth and competitiveness in order to achieve a greater share of users of online
services and a rapid penetration of information and communication technologies in all
sectors of the economy.

Tackling the challenges in this area is related to creating a clear and simplified legal environment that allows consumers to fully engage in the Digital Single Market and make effective use of the opportunities of the internet environment regardless of where they are in the EU. The completion of the Digital Single Market in Europe undoubtedly requires also a big investment in research and innovation, such as for instance, cloud computing and big data, artificial intelligence, maximum use of data and research information. Bulgaria will focus on strategic areas where the potential of digital research infrastructure can be put to the best use, as well as on wide and free access to publications and data, including through the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and high-performance computing initiatives, such as EuroHPC.

In order to deepen the integration in the services sector and to simplify the regulatory framework to support businesses, the Presidency will continue the work on the legislative proposals of the Services Package, as well as on the expected new proposal regarding relations
between the online platforms and businesses.

The development of a competitive Digital Single Market with a high level of user protection through promoting cross-border e-trade in goods, offering digital content and providing digital
services are among the tasks of the Bulgarian Presidency.

The Bulgarian Presidency will work to promote entrepreneurship based on digital technology and innovation which has a leading role in the EU’s economic and social development. This includes: progress in implementing the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative; developing alternative sources of funding and improving the business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises in line with the "Think Small First” principle; incentives for social innovation in the economy, in education, healthcare, information and communication technologies with a focus on young people, the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the development of skills and competences for the 21st century. 

In addition, they will work actively on modernising the European education systems and curricula by promoting the dissemination of common European values, social inclusion by means of formal and informal learning; consolidation of the role of teachers as key actors in the educational process and their role in improving the quality and effectiveness of education; revision of the European Framework of key competences and wide-ranging introduction of information and communication technologies at all levels of the education system, promoting basic competences, including mathematics and science as a key factor for improving the quality of the education system.

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