Bulgaria is estimated to shrink the most over the coming decades, but a host of other countries in eastern Europe are also in the firing line: Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Poland and Hungary.
Mekel compliments Bulgaria for its efforts on a range of issues, but insists that despite much being done for the EU member state, the hardest work had to be done at home. Bulgaria has been under fire for what some say is a lack of determination to fight corruption.
Bulgaria's president vetoes anti-corruption legislation a day after assuming EU presidency. The country has been described as the most corrupt country in the EU by anti-corruption agency Transparency International