Bulgaria's 24th position in this year's ranking of the EU Coalition Explorer by the European Council on Foreign Relations and Stiftung Mercator is a slight improvement on the previous year. In the 2017 league table, Bulgaria scored the worst among the 28 member states or, in other words, it was the least desirable country with which to do business. In the 2018 ranking, Bulgaria moved ahead of Malta and Cyprus, but it still lags behind countries like Latvia or Slovenia.
The progression is unquestionably linked to the recently concluded Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU. The rotating presidency puts one of the member states at the helm of EU for six months, elevating its visibility and prestige.
The main impetus behind Bulgaria's advance is the "overall influence on EU policy" category. Bulgaria scores 20 points, punching way above its weight in the ranking's other nine categories, obviously as a result of its ability to influence the EU agenda in the first half of 2018. However, this is a mere blip. The presidency effect doesn't mean that Bulgaria is tapped more frequently by other member states on matters of common interest or that it is identified as a country sharing their agenda.