Head of State Rumen Radev Called for Making Nationwide Efforts to Overcome the Moral Crisis in Bulgarian Society
The Bulgarian EU Council Presidency is not an alibi for doing nothing about the pressing domestic issues, the President said at the annual news conference
Nationwide efforts to overcome the moral crisis in Bulgarian Society are needed in the following months and years. The crisis has given rise to corruption, crime, political apathy and an attack against the freedom of speech. This is what President Rumen Radev said in the statement he made during his annual news conference held on the occasion of his first year since taking office.
The Head of State said that he directed a big part of his efforts during his first year at 2 Dondukov street toward creating an efficient anti-corruption model. Rumen Radev recalled the declassification of the consultative meetings at the President’s office on CCB, the convening of the Consultative Council for National Security on counteracting corruption and imposing a veto on the Anti-corruption and Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Assets Act. “The adopted law is not only weak, but it also poses a risk of misuse. It will not improve the solvency rate and criminal prosecution,” the President said and added that by adopting the law, the power holders formally fulfilled their commitments to the European Commission, but failed to fulfill those to the Bulgarian people. “It is clear that the people and the media will have to conduct the fight against corruption in the future,” the Head of State said.
Although Rumen Radev highlighted the ambitious start of the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency, he noted that it should not suspend democracy. “The EU Council Presidency is not an alibi for doing nothing about pressing domestic issues. Macroeconomic performance is good, but it cannot cover up other alarming statistics,” the Head of State said and paid attention to the low level of foreign investments in Bulgaria, the continuing depopulation in vast areas of the country, and the disastrous demographic trends. “Against this backdrop, the much proclaimed stability sounds like marching in place. The parliamentary republic is degenerating. Parliament is turning into a notary's office authenticating government decisions,” the President said and voiced his concern that when the public trust in the National Assembly is critically low, the trust in all other institutions is also critically low.
Rumen Radev further emphasized that the freedom of speech in Bulgaria is questioned. “Bulgarian society must fight for this sacred right, and this depends on the integrity and will of every owner, journalist and commentator, as well as on the will of every viewer and reader, who also make their choice. This is not only a political issue, but is a matter of commitment of every active citizen,” the President said.
The Head of State also called for standing up for our democratic rights without waiting for understanding and assistance from Europe. “This is the conclusion that we can draw from Brussels’ attitude to the Bulgarian problems,” the President added.
In the next year, Rumen Radev will focus on safeguarding the Bulgarians’ rights, guaranteeing the national sovereignty and security, imposing the rule of law. “I will insist on transparency of ownership, governance decisions and the spending of public funds. I and will encourage the public debate on the freedom of speech. I will insist on a debate on a reform of the judicial system and the anti-corruption legislation, which should meet the high public expectations. There is no alternative to the implementation of e-governance, and it cannot be delayed anymore. My travels in Bulgaria convinced me that government decentralization is essential if we want to have an active and committed public and to overcome severe regional disparities,” the President said.
In terms of foreign policy, Rumen Radev will continue to pursue his active policy in the Balkans and Europe to ensure security, stability and prosperity, to ensure Bulgaria’s full integration in the European structures and initiatives.
“In the security sector, I will continue to insist on adopting an integrated approach when solving the problems in this sector. Without such an approach, we will always be short of finances,” the Head of State said and called for a comprehensive and long-term planning, which should take into account the dynamics of the threats and the nature of the future conflicts. “I will continue to work to ensure the integration of the Bulgarian science and industry in the European initiatives,” the President added. Rumen Radev will insist that laws and budgets be adopted that will put an end to the practice of using religion for political ends and to the attempts to keep individual religious communities enclosed and subordinate to foreign interests.
The Head of State voiced the opinion that prompt measures should be taken in the education system, related not only to salaries and the renovation of schools, but also to creating a system for the development of up-to-date competencies in the young people, to stimulating research and innovations.
You can read the full text of the Head of State’s and Vice-president’s statements on the internet page of the President’s administration.