Special relations with the presiding member state

Carrying out a survey of Bulgaria’s expectations from the French EU-Presidency reveal two fundamental features of the EU debate in this country. On the one hand, it reveals that the country gradually found its way into EU structures, entered the policy-making mechanisms and formulated its national positions in all European matters. Many changes occurred in the perceptions of society and of politicians, and significant steps were made to mobilise public opinion and raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of Bulgaria as a full-fledged EU member state. On the other hand, this survey makes clear that further serious efforts must be developed. There is still a lack of media analysis on these important topics. Articles published in newspapers and weekly journals are the most descriptive. Bulgarian journalists focus their attention predominantly on presenting factual information in combination with offering of different points of view, but without their own detailed analytical commentary on EU issues.
Bulgarian-French relations enjoy a rich history

Low expectations for the French EU Presidency

The start of the French Council Presidency has been clearly overshadowed by the Irish ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty; therefore the expectations have been set rather low. Besides, due to the ups and downs in Austrian politics the media focused rather on the government crisis and other related topics. Therefore the main question discussed in the media was and is how the French President and the Presidency will solve the ongoing or reopened crisis in the EU. Another topic of interest was the issue of the Mediterranean Union, which Sarkozy plans to promote and intense, especially regarding Germany’s role. It has to be said that due to history and the neighbourhood, Germany has been always observed closely.